Price Assessment

Iron Ore Index — IODEX

  • What is IODEX?
  • How we assess the Platts IODEX
  • Evolution of Platts IODEX
  • Testimonials

What is IODEX?

Platts Iron Ore Index, or IODEX (IODBZ00), is a benchmark assessment by S&P Global Commodity Insights of the spot price of physical iron ore. The assessment is based on a standard specification of iron ore fines with 62% iron, 2.25% alumina, 4% silica and 0.09% phosphorus, among other gangue elements.

Since the breakdown of annually negotiated prices in 2010, IODEX has been the primary physical market pricing reference for seaborne iron ore fines delivered into China, the biggest importer of the steelmaking ingredient.

The use of the IODEX has also been extended to price iron ore in the forms of lump, pellet and concentrate, via the application of premiums and discounts to account for quality differences from the base specification.

The assessment is published on a CFR Qingdao basis, but is used by steelmakers, traders and mining companies globally to price long-term and spot contracts.

Ores delivered on quality, location and timing dimensions differing from those underlying the IODEX are normalized using impurity penalty/premia differentials, which are updated to reflect prevailing market values for different impurities.

IODEX and accompanying iron ore price assessments have brought increased transparency to an industry which continues to evolve in terms of the pricing methods it employs, most recently manifest in the forms of floating price deals for physical cargoes, hedged using positions in the financial derivatives market.

For over 10 years, S&P Global Commodity Insights has provided robust and independent price assessments for iron ore. This video outlines the key processes that our editorial team undertake when assessing the iron ore market, including the important role of Platts Market-On-Close (MOC) process. For more information email:

How we assess the Platts IODEX

Platts Iron Ore Index assessments reflect the tradeable price of iron ore at 5.30pm Singapore/Beijing time (9.30 am GMT).

The IODEX assessment is not origin specific, and takes into account ores with iron content between 60-63.5% Prior to 2012, the spot market saw Indian material traded most actively; this shifted, with Australia being the main source of spot medium grade fines material.

S&P Global Commodity Insights considers several liquid, widely-traded brands in its assessment of spot market value of medium grade fines delivered into China.

Iron ore is a commodity with widely varying quality specifications. The trade, bid and offer data obtained by S&P Global Commodity Insights are normalized for quality (chemical, physical and metallurgical), delivery timing, location and other terms of trade to the specifications underlying IODEX and associated indexes.

S&P Global Commodity Insights publishes bids, offers, expressions of interest to trade, and confirmed trades during our Market on Close assessment process every day. The information is summarized in our daily newsletters and is published in full on our real-time information service, Platts Metals Alert.

Evolution of Platts IODEX

S&P Global Commodity Insights started assessing the spot price of seaborne iron ore on June 2, 2008 – the first publisher to do so on a daily basis.

Starting with the 62%-Fe IODEX, subsequent associated assessments were launched to reflect ores of different quality groupings and forms, including lump.

IODEX was adopted as the most-used spot price index in 2010, when the annually negotiated pricing mechanism between major mining companies and steelmakers broke down.

Initially used as the basis of long-term contractual pricing, it is now also the basis of floating-price spot deals, and of financial derivatives like swaps.

On January 2, 2018, S&P Global Commodity Insights merged Platts IODEX with The Steel Index Iron Ore Fines 62% Fe CFR China (TS01021) index. The merger of these two price series saw both prices published as the same value each day, following the same methodology and forming a united forward curve for paper contracts.

The merger of these two price series allowed us to convert with greater certainty floating price trades, bids and offers to a fixed price basis.

S&P Global Commodity Insights thought leadership has brought about unprecedented transparency in the iron ore market, achieved through active market-testing of data obtained and the publication of a daily spot market commentary with a large following.


S&P Global [Commodity Insights] support for iron ore added credibility and helped change the sentiment of the majority who said that this market could not be commoditized

— Mark Lyons, Casetleton Commodities

The transformation of iron pricing 10 years ago provided all participants in the industry with an opportunity to better manage their price risk. It has brought more mature dynamics to the market and attracted many new people to participate in one of the world's largest traded commodities

— Jason Keys, Ferrexpo Group

S&P Global [Commodity Insights] has broadened its coverage of iron ore ever since its inception, going beyond 62% Fe materials to lump, pellet and pork stock pricing. The market needs transparency and I think that S&P Global [Commodity Insights] can help to promote this

— Wang Pei, Citic Metals

Prior to 2008 iron ore was seen as a niche and opaque commodity. The benefits of iron ore indexation have encouraged evolution in other steel derivative markets such as scrap, lump, rebar and hot rolled coil

— Phillip Killicoat, Goldman Sachs

We rely on what [S&P Global Commodity Insights] does. We use the very reliable indexes produced on a daily basis by [S&P Global Commodity Insights], and [they have] been extremely good terms of keeping up with the markets' needs. I commend them for that

— Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs