Iron ore prices are going nowhere fast

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Iron ore spot markets continue to tread water, mostly reversing the previous sessions moves on Tuesday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines dipped 1.5% to $62.50 a tonne, falling back after hitting a two-month high on Monday.

Higher grades also lost ground with ore with 65% Fe content sliding 0.6% to $80.80 a tonne. In contrast, the price of 58% fines rose, lifting 0.2% to $36.22 a tonne.

On Monday, mid and higher grades rose while lower grades fell.

The mixed performance came despite ongoing gains in Chinese rebar and iron ore futures during the session.

The May 2018 rebar contract in Shanghai jumped 2.7% to 3,763 yuan, boosted by confidence that winter curbs on Chinese steel production will result in higher prices.

That flowed through to movements in iron ore, coking coal and coke contracts in Dalian which rose 1%, 2.8% and 2.9% to 470 yuan, 1,227.5 yuan and 1,1917.5 yuan respectively.

And, as seen in the scoreboard below, futures built upon those gains overnight.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,807 , 2.01%
DCE Iron Ore ¥475.00 , 0.96%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,266.00 , 3.98%
DCE Coke ¥1,947.50 , 1.86%

The across-the-board strength suggests iron ore spot markets may lift today. However, as has been seen many times before, exuberance or pessimism in futures markets does not necessarily translate to similar moves in physical markets.

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