- Iron ore spot markets rebounded on Friday after falling to a one-month low on Thursday.
- The move followed renewed strength in Chinese steel futures, helped in part by decline in Chinese inventory levels last week.
- There was little movement in Chinese steel and bulk commodity futures on Friday evening, offering few clues as to what direction spot markets will move today.
Iron ore spot markets rebounded on Friday, led by mid and higher grades.
According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines jumped 1.3% to $67.03 a tonne, recovering after falling to a one-month low of $66.20 a tonne on Thursday.
Mirroring the move in the benchmark, higher grades also rallied with the price for 65% fines rising 1.2% to $93.80 a tonne.
Lower grades were the relative laggard with the price for 58% fines adding a solitary cent to settle at $36.40 a tonne.
The rebound in mid and higher grades followed a similar move in rebar futures in Shanghai which recovered from early losses to close firmly in the black.
The most actively traded January 2019 contract finished Friday’s day session at 4,334 yuan, moving back towards the seven-year high of 4,418 yuan hit on Wednesday.
News that Chinese steel inventories fell last week may have contributed to the rebound in futures.
According to data from Mysteel consultancy, Chinese steel inventories fell by 42,400 tonnes to 10.03 million tonnes during the week, driven by declines in both rebar and hot-rolled coil stockpiles.
The rebound in rebar futures likely contributed to modest strength in iron ore futures in Dalian with the January 2019 contract ending the session at 490.5 yuan, snapping a three-day losing streak in the process.
Despite those gains, coking coal and coke futures managed to buck the prevailing trend, closing lower at 1,290 and 2,544 yuan respectively.
“Prices for coking coal and coke went up too much,” a Shanghai-based trader told Reuters. “[The] market needs to step back for a while to calm down.”
As seen in the scoreboard below, there was very little movement on those levels in overnight trade on Friday.
SHFE Rebar ¥4,316 , 0.51%
DCE Iron Ore ¥490.50 , 0.20%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,284.50 , -0.35%
DCE Coke ¥2,543.50 , 1.15%
The flat-to-lower performance offers few clues as to what direction spot markets will move today.
Trade in all Chinese commodity futures will resume at 11am AEST.
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