Iron ore is suddenly in a bull market

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Iron ore spot markets continue to surge, recording their tenth gain in eleven sessions on Thursday.

And, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s now in a bull market.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines jumped by another 3.8% to $64.71 a tonne, leaving it sitting at the highest level since May 4.

It has now gained 14% in just three sessions, extending the rally from the one-year low of $53.36 a tonne struck on June 13 to 21.3%.

The chart below may not look like it, but the benchmark price is now in a bull market, defined as a gain of 20% or more.

The strength in the benchmark price was replicated across the grades, albeit by a smaller margin.

The price for 58% fines rose 2.3% to $43.17, while Brazilian ore with 65% Fe content increased 1.4% to $749.40.

The surge coincided with another rally in Chinese commodity futures earlier in the session, led by coking coal which added more than 7% on the back of reports that the government would ban imports from smaller Chinese ports.

When it took off all other bulk commodity contracts followed suit, said Xu Bo, an analyst at Haitong Futures.

“The price rallies on coking coal and coke are driven by the worries about a supply shortage in the future, which helps lift the whole bulk commodities market,” Xu told Reuters.

Reflective of the broad-based rally, the most actively traded September 2017 iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodities Exchange added over 5% for the session.

However, while futures surged during Thursday’s day session, most contracts finished overnight trade well off their earlier highs, hinting that the buying frenzy over the past few days may be coming to an end.

Here’s how they finished the night session. They may be indicating gains, but these levels are well off those seen on Thursday.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,292 , 0.03%
DCE Iron Ore ¥474.00 , 0.64%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,121.50 , 1.08%
DCE Coke ¥1,751.00 , 0.84%

Trade in Chinese futures will resume at 11am AEST, coinciding with the release of manufacturing, non-manufacturing and steel industry purchasing managers indices (PMI) for June from the Chinese government.

These reports are often influential on the performance of commodity futures, particularly the latter.

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