Iron ore just hit the highest level seen in years

Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Iron ore continued to rally on Thursday, hitting the highest level since October 2014 in the process.

The spot price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.37% to $83.84 a tonne, according to Metal Bulletin, the third straight gain in a row.

It’s now put on the 119% from the record low of $38.30 a tonne stuck in mid-December, leaving it at highs not seen since October 13, 2014.

Despite the strength in the benchmark price, both lower and higher grade ores were unchanged during the session.

Metal Bulletin said the gains corresponded with continued strength in Chinese steel prices, helping to place a rocket under futures markets.

“Continual gains in the billet market and active trading over the past couple of days pushed up spot rebar prices again during the day,” the group said. “Sellers are also expecting demand to pick up next week when the construction sector gradually starts work.”

That speculation helped to push Chinese futures up substantially again on Thursday, and continued to support iron ore and rebar futures overnight.

The May 2017 iron ore future on the Dalian Commodities Exchange closed at 655.5 yuan, up 1.94% for the session. Rebar futures traded separately on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were a little less enthusiastic, closing up 0.74% at 3,263 yuan.

Trade in Chinese futures will resume at midday AEDT, just a hour before the expected release of Chinese trade data — including iron ore import volumes — for January.

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