Iron ore had a terrible week, finishing below $60 a tonne after sliding 12%

Getty/Mike Powell

Iron ore resumed its downtrend on Friday with the benchmark spot price tumbling below the $60 a tonne level for the first time since April 15.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for 62% fines fell by 3.25%, or $1.96, to $58.29 a tonne, extending its losses for the week to 12%.

The year to date gain has now been trimmed to 33.8%.

The price slide corresponded with news that iron ore shipments from Port Hedland in Australia grew strongly in April compared to the same period a year earlier.

Data released by the Pilbara Ports Authority revealed 37.69 million tonnes of iron ore were shipped during the month, up 6.5% on the levels of a year earlier.

Although a hefty increase, the monthly total was below the record figure of 39.53 million tonnes shipped one month earlier.

While the spot price continued to sink last week, Chinese iron ore futures rose strongly in overnight trade on Friday, suggesting that the spot price mat reverse course on Monday.

The most actively traded September 2016 contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose by over 3%, outpacing gains of 2.1% and 0.65% in Chinese coking coal and rebar futures.

Should that gain be maintained or built upon today, it points to the likelihood of a bounce in the spot price arriving later in the session.

Metal Bulletin will release its iron ore index for Monday at 8.30pm AEST.

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