Iron ore is hovering just below $60 a tonne

Jerry Markland/Getty

Iron ore markets finished mixed on Tuesday with spot prices for higher grade ore pushing higher while lower grade ore tumbled.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.29% to $59.31 a tonne, taking it’s year to date gain to 36.1%.

At the other end of the spectrum, the price for 58% fines slid by another 1.44% to $46.47 a tonne. It’s now fallen 3.83% since Friday, trimming its 2016 gain to 20.63%.

Activity levels picked up on Tuesday, noted Metal Bulletin.

The modest gain in the benchmark price corresponded with news that Chinese crude steel output accelerated in the second half of August, notes Metal Bulletin.

“Major Chinese mills’ daily crude steel output continued to rise in mid-August, driven by a further increase in domestic prices,” said Metal Bulletin.

“CISA members produced crude steel at an average rate of 1.7490 million tonnes per day during the second ten days of the month, up 3.0% from the preceding period, according to data released yesterday.

“The overall upward trend in spot steel prices, as well as the anticipation for demand to improve in the upcoming peak season of September and October has kept mills’ production interest high,” it said, citing market sources.

Despite the bullish outlook for demand, it was not enough to support Chinese iron ore futures which fell in overnight trade.

The January 2016 contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange finished trade at 416 yuan, down 0.95% for the session. Rebar futures also weakened, losing 0.57%.

Trade in both contracts will resume at 11am AEST.

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