Iron ore prices slip again

Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesMike Hewitt/Getty Images
  • Iron ore prices continued to edge lower on Thursday.
  • The benchmark spot price has now fallen for four consecutive sessions.
  • Brazilian miner slashed its iron ore sales forecasts for this year, reflecting disruptions to facilities it operates following a deadly mining disaster in late January.

Iron ore prices continued to edge lower on Thursday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell 0.5% to $84.68 a tonne, extending its losing streak into a fourth consecutive session.

58% fines dipped 0.2% to $70.97 a tonne while 65% fines fell by a smaller 0.1% to $96.40 a tonne.

Chinese iron ore futures in Dalian also weakened with the May 2019 contract sliding to a two-week low of 607 yuan, down from 614.5 yuan on Wednesday evening.

Coking coal and coke contracts also gave up earlier gains, falling to 1,228.5 and 1,976 yuan respectively, down marginally from the prior night session close.

Perhaps contributing to the weakness in the bulks, rebar futures in Shanghai fell to 3,690 yuan, well off the high of 3,734 yuan struck earlier in the session. It closed at 3,708 yuan on Wednesday evening.

Hot-rolled coil futures managed to buck the broader trend, lifting from 3,659 yuan to close at 3,675 yuan.

A seen in the scoreboard below, rebar, iron ore and coking coal future reversed some of those losses in overnight trade on Thursday.

SHFE Hot Rolled Coil ¥3,673 , -0.27%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,695 , -0.24%
DCE Iron Ore ¥613.50 , 0.57%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,234.00 , -0.04%
DCE Coke ¥1,965.00 , 0.20%

On Thursday, Brazilian miner Vale slashed its forecasts for iron ore sales this year, suggesting they could fall by as much as 75 million tonnes from initial estimates.

The downward revision reflects the impact of temporary mine closures following a deadly accident at a facility operated by Vale in late January.

“The price implications from Vale’s guidance and commentary are significant,” said Vivek Dhar, Energy and Commodities Analyst at the Commonwealth Bank.

“Given the physical nature of iron ore markets, the impending physical tightness to face iron ore markets strengthens our conviction that iron ore prices will rise above $90 a tonne in the short term.”

The news from Vale was released after trade in Chinese commodity futures had concluded. They’ll resume at midday AEDT on Friday.

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