Iron ore spot markets jumped on Thursday, closing at a fresh multi-month high.
According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 2.1% to $76.54 a tonne, leaving it at the highest level since September 13 last year.
It has now rallied 30.8% since the start of November, extending its gain from the record-low level of $38.30 a tonne struck in December 2015 to 100%.
The strength in the benchmark was mirrored across the grades.
Ore with 65% Fe content increased 0.9% to $91.70 a tonne, mirroring a similar gain in the price of 58% fines which closed at $41.94 a tonne.
The gains followed news that activity levels across China’s non-manufacturing sectors improved at the fastest pace in three years during December, briefly lifting iron ore futures during the session.
The May 2018 contract in Dalian closed up 0.5% at 543.5 yuan a tonne, rebounding off the lows struck in overnight trade.
The strength came despite a 0.7% slide in rebar futures in Shanghai which closed at 3,819 yuan a tonne. Analysts said freezing weather conditions in China sapped end user demand for steel product, contributing to the decline.
And, as seen in the scoreboard below, the weakness in rebar futures continued in overnight trade.
SHFE Rebar ¥3,805 , -0.16%
DCE Iron Ore ¥542.50 , 0.65%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,351.50 , -0.33%
DCE Coke ¥2,081.00 , 1.09%
Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.