China imported a billion tonnes of iron ore in the past year but that wasn't enough to support prices overnight

Michael Smith/Newsmakers

Iron ore prices stumbled on Thursday, falling by close to one per cent.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell 0.86% to $56.67 a tonne, the first substantial decline seen since Chinese markets returned from Golden Week holidays.

It trimmed its gain in 2016 to 30%.

The decline corresponded with the release of weak Chinese trade data for September, although the news relating to iron ore was entirely bullish.

China’s Customs Bureau reported that imports between January to September rose by 9.1% compared to the same period a year earlier, leaving total imports over the past 12 months at over one billion tonnes.

Providing no indication as to what direction spot prices will travel today, Chinese iron ore futures were largely flat in overnight trade, slipping 0.12% to 425.5 yuan.

Trade in Chinese futures will resume at midday AEDT, 30 minutes before the release of Chinese producer price inflation figures for September.

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