Iron ore prices remain choppy

Stephen Munday/ALLSPORT
  • Iron ore spot markets closed mixed on Monday. Lower grades soared, mid-tiers fell and higher-grades inched higher.
  • The mixed price performance came despite continued declines in Chinese steel futures.
  • Chinese futures were little changed in overnight trade on Monday, offering few clues as to what direction spot markets may move on Tuesday.

Iron ore spot markets remain choppy and directionless, maintaining the pattern seen since March.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines fell 0.4% to $66.05 a tonne on Monday, moving in the opposite direction to the previous day for a third consecutive session.

While the benchmark fell, lower and higher grades pushed higher.

The price of 58% fines surged 3.3% to $37.33 a tonne. The move in 65% fines was a little more subdued, lifting 0.2% to $94.90 a tonne.

The mixed price performance followed another quiet session for Chinese steel and bulk commodity futures on Monday.

After trading either side of flat throughout the day, rebar futures in Shanghai eventually finished at 4,087 yuan, down marginally on Friday’s night session close of 4,104 yuan.

The indecisive moves in steel markets were reflective of those seen in iron ore futures traded separately in Dalian with the January 2019 contract closing flat at 484.5 yuan.

There was a little more movement in coking coal and coke futures which finished at 1,233.5 and 2,363.5 yuan respectively, down from Friday’s night session close of 1,253.5 and 2,440.5 yuan.

The losses in futures came despite gains in spot markets, adding to the confusing price signals seen on Monday.

That form continued in overnight trade with rebar and iron ore trading flat while coke and coking coal contracts continued to ease lower.

Here’s the closing scoreboard.

SHFE Rebar ¥4,083 , -0.07%
DCE Iron Ore ¥484.50 , 0.31%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,226.00 , -1.01%
DCE Coke ¥2,354.00 , -1.69%

Trade in Chinese futures will resume at 11am AEST.

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