In line with the steep fall in Chinese futures recorded yesterday, the spot iron ore price was clobbered overnight, suffering one of the largest declines this year.
According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by $1.64, or 2.9%, to $54.97 a tonne. Analysts at Metal Bulletin note that activity within the spot market remains quiet despite the return of mainland Chinese participants last week.
The decline follows the release of Chinese trade data for September, something that contained up-to-date information on Chinese iron ore import demand. For the month, imports totalled 86.1 million tonnes, an 16% increase on August and near the current record high of 86.9 million tonnes set in December 2014.
Despite the hefty month-on-month increase, in annualised terms demand grew by just 1.7%. In the period between January to September, imports totalled 699 million tonnes, largely unchanged from the levels seen over the same period a year earlier.
While the spot price fell with a thud, Chinese iron ore futures eked out a small rise overnight with the most actively traded January 2016 contract on the Dalian commodities exchange rising 0.67% to 378 yuan.
Trade in Dalian will resume at 12pm AEDT.