Iron ore markets have fallen again

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Iron ore spot markets retreated for a second consecutive session on Monday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines slipped 0.1% to $74.33 a tonne, adding to the 0.9% decline seen on Friday.

The losses in lower and higher grades were larger with 58% fines and ore with 65% Fe content both falling 0.8%, closing the session at $40.70 and $89.40 a tonne respectively.

Mirroring the decline in spot markets, iron ore futures also weakened on Monday, falling to the lowest level since late December.

The May 2018 iron ore contract in Dalian fell 1.34% to 514.5 yuan a tonne, having earlier hit a low of 511 yuan a tonne.

Rebar futures traded separately in Shanghai fared better, closing the session at 3,945 yuan a tonne, unchanged from Friday’s night session close.

Coke and coking coal contracts were also weaker, falling 0.8% and 1.8% respectively to 2,032.5 yuan and 1,286.5 yuan a tonne.

However, as seen in the scoreboard below, iron ore, coke and coking coal contracts all rose modestly in overnight trade.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,936 , -0.23%
DCE Iron Ore ¥519.00 , 0.58%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,296.50 , 0.15%
DCE Coke ¥2,038.00 , -0.10%

The reversal in iron ore futures coincided with the release of Chinese iron ore port inventory data, revealing a 1.3 million decline last week to 153.13 million tonnes, according to Steelhome Consultancy, the first weekly fall in 15 weeks.

Inventories still remain near the highest level on record.

Should futures manage to hold or add to the overnight gains, it points to the likelihood that spot markets may follow suit today.

Trade in all Chinese commodity contracts will resume at midday AEDT.

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