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Iron ore prices have surged 50 percent this year, prompting speculation that the market may be poised for a fall. Jason Schenker disagrees.
Schenker, president of Prestige Economics, reckons prices will be supported by a broad slowdown in investment at commodity companies and a pick-up in Chinese manufacturing activity.
"For almost a year and a half, Chinese manufacturing has been in recession. That's been huge for iron ore and I think we are going to see that begin to improve," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box".
China's privately-compiled Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed manufacturing activity expanding in July, having contracted for 16 straight months before that.
Schenker forecasts iron ore prices at $62 and $72 a ton for 2017 and 2018, respectively. Iron ore prices were around $60 a ton Tuesday.
Although the recovery in Chinese manufacturing would not immediately spark strong demand for iron ore, it would mean that "the bleeding stops and you begin to see a flattening of manufacturing activity," he explained, adding his 2018 price forecast would still be 27 percent below the heydays of $98 a ton in 2014.
Prices however were likely to remain choppy for the rest of 2016 at an average of $60 a metric ton for the second half of 2016, while they will likely average $55 for the full year, Schenker said.
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