The price gap between low and higher iron ore grades continues to widen

Picture: YouTube/dutchsinse

The price gap between lower and higher iron ore grades continues to widen.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.8% to $78.82 a tonne, leaving it at the highest level since January 11.

Higher grades also pushed higher with the price of ore with 65% Fe content rising by a smaller 0.6% to $95.20 a tonne.

In contrast, less efficient lower grades continued to weaken with the price of 58% fines sliding 0.5% to $43.86 a tonne.

Mid and higher grades have been in demand in recent months as elevated steel mill margins and production curbs introduced to help improve air quality in northern Chinese regions saw mills favour more efficient ores.

The strength in spot markets coincided with a strong rally in rebar and iron ore futures on Friday.

The May 2018 rebar contract in Shanghai rallied 1.8%, closing the day session at 3,949 yuan a tonne. Iron ore futures in Dalian also gained, rising 2.1% to 548.5 yuan a tonne.

Coke and coking coal futures also jumped, closing up 3% and 1.7% respectively at 2,223.5 yuan and 1,398 yuan a tonne.

As seen in the scoreboard below, there was very little movement on those levels in overnight trade on Friday.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,956 , 1.49%
DCE Iron Ore ¥548.00 , 1.11%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,417.00 , 2.64%
DCE Coke ¥2,240.50 , 2.35%

The lack of movement provides few clear signals as to what direction spot markets may move today.

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

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