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The Day Oligopolistic Forces Lost Power

The Day Oligopolistic Forces Lost Power

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During the last decade, the price of iron ore has risen from $13 per tonne in 2001 to approximately $140 per tonne in 2010. Using commodity data and theoretical argumentation, this thesis analyses how market power amongst actors in the iron ore market have influenced and been affected by different pricing systems, as well as how the price of iron ore has been affected by the shifts in market power and various pricing systems. We find that the price trend of iron ore relative demand is unique when compared to other metals. Evidence suggest that the greatest single factor behind the recent price development is that the pricing mechanism shifted from oligopoly pricing to a state converging perfect pricing in late 2008, causing oligopolistic forces to lose market power. Further, prices will most likely always be higher under the new pricing system than they would have been in any given theoretical situation under the old pricing system.
- A descriptive study on iron ore pricing