The iron ore selloff is slowing

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
  • Iron ore spot markets finished mixed on Tuesday having fallen heavily in the previous two sessions.
  • The benchmark price fell by a further 0.8%, leaving its decline since March 1 at 15.7%.
  • Chinese rebar and iron ore futures rebounded in overnight trade, hinting that spot markets may follow suit today.

Iron ore spot markets fell again on Tuesday, albeit by a smaller amount than in the previous two sessions.

And with Chinese futures rebounding in overnight trade, the early indications point to a rebound in spot markets arriving today.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines slipped 0.8% to $66.94 a tonne, leaving it at the lowest level since December 7.

It’s now lost 7.2% in the past three sessions, extending its losses since March 1 to 15.7%.


In contrast to the benchmark, lower and higher grades finished largely flat for the session.

58% fines was unchanged at $38.08 a tonne while ore with 65% Fe content added 0.1% to settle at $83.40 a tonne.

The mixed performance across spot markets followed a topsy turvy session in Chinese futures, initially plunging before reversing most of those losses into the close.

Dalian iron ore futures closed at 459 yuan a tonne, rebounding after hitting a low of 453.5 yuan a tonne midway through the session.

Similar price action was seen in rebar futures traded separately in Shanghai which closed at 3,649 yuan a tonne, off the lows struck in early trade.

As seen in the scoreboard below, that reversal extended in overnight trade on Tuesday with both iron ore and rebar futures continuing to push higher.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,672 , 0.96%
DCE Iron Ore ¥466.00 , 1.53%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,304.50 , 1.44%
DCE Coke ¥1,971.50 , 1.39%

The gains point to the likelihood that spot markets may follow suit today, albeit with the disclaimer than movements in night trade — often driven by significantly lower volumes than seen in the day sessions — have not been the best guide of late.

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.

NOW READ: This chart helps explain why iron ore prices are tumbling