In the year since then the price has all but halved to ~$69.80 tonne. Some of the producers at the higher end of the cost curve will be feeling the pain now.
Today the market for mobile chips and microchips which can navigate via GPS satellites moves on, and the challenge for Intel will be whether it can stay a step ahead on the game as the smartphone revolution continues.
Their "economic moat" is a lower production price per tonne of ore.
Share prices have responded accordingly over the past year - if it isn't a race to zero for these more marginal companies just yet, we are only a month or three of declining spot prices away from it starting to quack like one...
The only real choices include the following:
- to continue to squeeze or reduce cash costs and all-in production costs going forward;
- to reduce volumes temporarily or mothball operations - a costly manoeuvre;
- to hope that miners higher up the cost curve capitulate first slowing supply; or
- to hope that iron ore prices rebound sharpish thanks to demand from China.
Chairman and CEO Addresses variously have alluded to each of these points.
It will be interesting to see how commodity prices, particularly iron ore, fare through the week ahead.
The central also highlights that while the headline rate of economic growth must inevitably become slower over time due to the sheer scale of China's total GDP, there will continue to be a "huge demand for commodities of many kinds" as China's economy continues to expand in size.
Or will some of the higher-cost Australian operations be cancelled?
We have concentrated at iron ore above, that being the key bulk commodity in the RBA's index, but at this stage in the cycle but similar challenges face producers of a raft of different commodities, from copper to coal, to gold, silver and more.
With the Aussie dollar declining from above parity to 86-87 cents in recent years this has smoothed or stabilised the Reserve Bank's commodities index to a certain extent.
The RBA's index is down 17 percent in SDR terms (red line) in the past year to October 2014 and 13 percent in AUD terms (orange line), with more falls seeming likely to follow in November.
The two blue lines denote the rollercoaster ride for the all-important bulk commodities in SDR and AUD terms.
That's still all looking pretty messy any which way you look at it. From an exporter's perspective at least, an Aussie dollar in the low seventies would really be a big help!