Iron ore has fallen again

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
  • Iron ore spot markets fell for a fourth consecutive session on Friday.
  • The losses followed news of temporary steel mill closures in a major Chinese steel-producing city.
  • Chinese futures markets are closed today ahead of May Day holidays.

Iron ore spot markets remain under pressure, falling for a fourth consecutive session on Friday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines slid 0.9% to $65.68 a tonne, extending its losses from April 19 to 4%.

It’s now edging back towards the lows seen in late March and early April.

Both lower and higher grades also lost ground during the session.

58% fines dipped 1.1% to $39.48 a tonne, double the 0.5% drop recorded in 65% fines which settled at $84.20 a tonne.

The across-the-board losses followed weakness in futures earlier in the session.

Iron ore futures in Dalian fell 1.3% to $460.50 a tonne, recovering from even steeper losses earlier in the session.

In contrast, rebar futures in Shanghai rose on Friday, lifting by 0.8% to 3,593 yuan a tonne.

The mixed performance in futures followed news that at least three steel mills in the Chinese city of Xuzhou, the nation’s second-largest steelmaking province, had been forced to suspend operations by authorities on environmental grounds.

While that helped to boost steel prices, it had the opposite effect on iron ore markets on Friday, casting renewed doubt over the outlook for demand.

With Chinese markets closed today for May Day Holidays, it’s likely that spot markets will be quiet in the early parts of the week.

Activity levels should begin to pickup again from Wednesday.

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