Iron ore remains choppy and directionless

ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Iron ore spot and futures markets remain choppy and directionless.
  • Spot markets rose on Thursday, mirroring modest gains in Chinese steel futures.
  • Both steel and iron ore futures rose in overnight trade, coinciding with news that major steel producers will lift prices for some products in June.

Iron ore markets remain choppy and directionless, maintaining the theme seen over the past two months.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines rose 0.6% to $66.83 a tonne on Thursday, reversing a similarly-sized decline a day earlier.

The benchmark has traded in a thin range of just over $5 since late March, unusually small compared to usual standards.

Like the benchmark, the price of 58% fines inched higher, lifting 0.3% to $39.40 a tonne. 65% fines were unchanged for a second consecutive session at $85.20 a tonne.

The modest gains mirrored the price action seen in Chinese steel futures during the session.

Rebar futures in Shanghai closed up 0.5% at 3,615 yuan a tonne, recovering after dipping in early trade. Iron ore futures in Dalian went in the other direction, falling 0.5% to 470 yuan a tonne.

However, there was more uniformity in overnight trade with rebar and iron ore futures both pushing higher.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,647 , 1.50%
DCE Iron Ore ¥473.50 , 0.85%

News that Baosteel and Wuhan Steel will lift prices for some steel products in June may have helped to underpin the gains in futures.

Trade in all Chinese commodity contracts will resume at 11am AEST.

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