Iron ore prices slip again

Chris McGrath/Getty Images
  • Iron ore prices fell across the board on Wednesday.
  • Chinese steel futures continue to ease, placing pressure on bulk commodity prices.
  • Chinese international trade data for January will be released today.

Iron ore prices weakened again on Wednesday with modest declines recorded across all major grades.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines by 0.5% to $87.22 a tonne, logging its first back-to-back fall since late January.

The price for 65% fines fell for a third consecutive session, settling at $99.50 a tonne, down 1% from Tuesday.

58% fines fell by a smaller 0.2% to $70.22 a tonne, continuing to outperform the movements in mid and higher grades.

The weakness in spot markets followed similar moves in Chinese steel and iron ore futures in overnight trade on Tuesday.

While futures managed to eke out small gains during Wednesday’s days session, weakness returned to rebar and hot-rolled coil contracts on Wednesday evening, ensuring bulk commodity contracts finished flat to lower for the session.

Here’s the scoreboard from Wednesday’s night session.

SHFE Hot Rolled Coil ¥3,580 , -1.78%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,676 , -1.66%
DCE Iron Ore ¥619.50 , -0.72%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,280.00 , -0.12%
DCE Coke ¥2,064.00 , -0.43%

Rebar and hot-rolled coil futures led the losses while iron ore finished nearly unchanged from where it closed 24 hours earlier.

Some analysts believe falling steel prices, crimping Chinese steel mill profit margins, may continue to support demand for lower grade iron ore compared to mid and higher grades.

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.

Chinese international trade figures for January will be released midway through the session, carrying the potential to generate volatility in spot and futures markets.

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