Iron ore markets had a quiet end to the week due to a public holiday in China

OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
  • Iron ore spot markets were unchanged on Friday due to a public holiday in China.
  • Chinese iron ore futures will resume trade on Monday.
  • Iron ore shipments from Australia’s Port Hedland fell to 36.39 million tonnes in March, down 13.5% from the levels of a year earlier. Supply disruptions have been a major factor behind recent strength in prices.

Iron ore spot markets were quiet on Friday due to the Tomb Sweeping Holiday in China.

According to Metal Bulletin, no movement was recorded across the three major grades. Benchmark 62% fines settled at $92.90 a tonne while 58% and 65% fines closed at $76.84 and $105 a tonne respectively.

Dalian iron ore futures were closed on Friday for the public holiday. They’ll resume at 11am AEST on Monday.

Helping to explain why futures and spot prices have surged over the past couple of weeks, data from the Pilbara Ports Authority revealed a large decline in iron ore exports during March.

Shipments from Port Hedland, the world’s largest iron ore loading terminal, slumped to 36.39 million tonnes last month, down 7% from February and 13.5% from the same month a year earlier.

The steep decline reflects disruptions caused by Tropical Cyclone Veronica that struck Pilbara coastline in the latter parts of the month.

The authority said the cyclone closed the Port of Port Hedland for approximately 92.5 hours. Slightly longer closures were recorded at the ports of Dampier and Asburton due to the same weather system.

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