It is not so hard to predict prices, it just doesn't move that fast. People shorting these stocks have really been working the media making everyone think the price of iron ore is falling off a China slowdown. The statistics they used were skewed due to the Chinese New Year shutdown. But unlike gold, iron ore has actual uses and the demand for iron ore just doesn't fluctuate that much to make the wild swings the shorts are predicting. Gold on the other hand has such a small consumer use, it purely speculation on gold held in vaults.
Met coal prices tend to be stable as well because nat gas is not substituted in most steel plants. Thermal coal on the other hand is affected by nat gas prices as power plants can switch between fuels.
We need to get the Chinese GDP numbers out to take away the primary argument away from the shorts and CLF's earnings will show just how good the earnings are.
Well written response, I have a few more comments to add. Although Steel can be easily be reused the Worlds population and economic keep growing. The use of Wind mills, increase transport infrastructure, be it be by land (rails, bridges), sea, pipelines will need exponentially larger iron ore supply. Steel is the ultimate basic useful metal. More and taller building structures will also add to consumption.