Iron ore got crushed last week, closing at another record low

The spot iron ore price continued to tumble on Friday, continuing a familiar theme.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by a further 22 cents, or 0.57%, to $38.30 a tonne. It was the lowest spot price on record.

For the week the benchmark price fell by 4.32%, leaving the year to date decline at 46.25%. From the heady days of early 2011 when the price traded above $190 a tonne, it has now fallen in excess of 80%.

“It’s beginning to sound repetitive, but we have once again witnessed the worst week in terms of iron ore prices since the indices began in 2008,” wrote analysts at Metal Bulletin in their Friday note.

“Mills have come under increasing pressure to cut output this year as spot steel prices sink to new lows amid an oversupplied sector. However, record-low iron ore prices have allowed steel makers some leeway with lower input costs.”

In a sign that downside pressure on spot prices may be nearing an end, Chinese iron ore futures rebounded modestly on Friday evening. The most actively traded May 2016 contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose by 0.53% to 285.5 yuan. The January 2016 contract, still carrying significant open interest, also closed up 0.68% at 298 yuan.

If sustained during today’s day session it suggests a small bounce in the spot price may arrive later in the session. Trade in Dalian resumes at 12pm AEDT with Metal Bulletin’s iron ore index released at 10pm AEDT this evening.

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