Chinese iron ore futures continue to collapse

Photo: China Photos/Getty Images.

Iron ore prices continued to slide on Wednesday, albeit not to the scale seen in the previous two sessions.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by a further 0.36% to $72.42 a tonne, extending its decline over the past three days to 9.3%.

Year to date it has surged 66.2%.

The price for lower grade ore also fell, while higher grade 65% fines held steady.

The decline in spot markets followed a 6.5% plunge in Chinese iron ore futures on Wednesday. That was accompanied by a smaller decline in rebar futures, weighing on spot and physical steel prices during the session.

Another fundamental factor weighing on prices is the elevated level of Chinese iron ore port inventories right now.

According to data from SteelHome, stocks now stand at 107.75 million tonnes, near the two-year high of 108.6 million tonnes struck in the previous week.

And it looks like there’s going to be further declines to come.

Iron ore futures continued to weaken in overnight trade with the January 2017 contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange closing the session at 562 yuan, a decrease of 1.92%.

From the 33-month high struck on Monday, it has now plunged by 14.4% in less than three days.

Suggesting that speculators are now running for the exits after driving prices higher in October, open interest in the contract now stands at just 1.3 million lots, according to Reuters, down from 2.09 million lots on November 7.

Trade in Chinese futures will resume at midday AEDT.

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