Iron ore prices ease across the board

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  • All major iron ore grades fell on Wednesday.
  • Chinese steel and iron ore futures finished mixed on Wednesday evening, providing few clues as to what direction physical markets will move on Thursday.
  • Chinese producer price inflation data for March will be released at 11.30am AEST.

Iron ore spot prices eased across the board on Wednesday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines slipped 0.3% to $94.61 a tonne, logging its first back-to-back decline since late March.

After surging to fresh five-year highs on Tuesday, lower grade ore reversed those gains with 58% fines falling 1.3% to $78.91 a tonne.

There was little movement across higher grades with 65% fines inching down 0.1% to $106.40 a tonne, pulling back from the two-year high hit a session earlier.

The modest declines were mirrored in Dalian iron ore futures with the September 2019 contract slipping to 651 yuan, down one yuan from Tuesday’s day session close. They briefly traded to as low as 642 yuan before recovering towards the close.

Helping to limit losses in physical and spot markets, steel futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange finished marginally higher, recovering after an earlier stumble.

The October 2019 rebar and hot-rolled coil contracts finished at 3,774 and 3,690 yuan respectively, up 16 and three yuan from Tuesday’s day session close. They had slumped to 3,735 and 3,648 yuan respectively in early trade.

While iron ore and steel futures inched higher, coking coal and coke contracts went backwards, finishing at 1,322 and 2,017.5 yuan respectively.

Providing few clues as to what direction physical markets will move on Thursday, all five contracts finished mixed on Wednesday evening.

SHFE Hot Rolled Coil ¥3,670 , 0.05%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,771 , 0.45%
DCE Iron Ore ¥648.50 , 0.23%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,325.00 , 0.04%
DCE Coke ¥2,015.00 , -0.64%

Chinese commodity futures will resume trade at 11am AEST, 30 minutes before the release of consumer and producer price inflation figures for March.

As a measure of selling prices for industrial firms, the details of the producer price inflation report may impact sentiment across the steel and bulk commodity complex in the second half of the session.

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