Iron ore markets remain wild, rivalling the volatility seen in Bitcoin in recent days

JAIME REINA / AFP / Getty Images

The price swings across iron ore markets remain wild, rivalling those seen in Bitcoin in recent days.

Yes, they’ve been that crazy.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines surged 5.6% to $69.35 a tonne on Friday, completely reversing the 5.3% decline registered one day earlier.

It was the largest increase since November 6, coming one day after the largest drop since May 4.


Both lower and higher grades also rose during the session, albeit by a lesser degree than the benchmark.

58% fines added 1.5% to $39.12 a tonne while ore with 65% Fe content increased 2.2% to $87.20 a tonne.

The rebound in spot markets followed a rebound in Chinese futures earlier in the session, boosted by another strong trade report from China for November. Both exports and imports grew at a faster pace than expected, suggesting that the global economy remains in rude health in the final throngs of 2017.

More specifically, the trade data revealed that Chinese iron ore imports rose to 94.54 million tonnes in November, up from 79.49 million tonnes a month earlier.

“Overall [iron ore] imports for January to November are now up 5.9%, much higher than originally expected. This helped dispel concerns that the closure of steel mills is materially impacting demand,” said analysts at ANZ Bank.

The strong trade report prompted a reversal in Chinese rebar and iron ore futures on Friday, seeing many contracts finish well off the lows seen earlier in the session.

Rebar futures in Shanghai finished up 0.5% at 3,895 yuan a tonne, recovering from a loss of more than 2% in early trade. It was a similar story for iron ore futures in Dalian which closed down 1.2% at 506.5 yuan a tonne, a sharp recovery having been down more than 4% at one point during the session.

Both coke and coking coal futures also staged a similar recovery on Friday, finishing at 1,265.5 yuan and 1,215 yuan respectively.

And, as seen in the scoreboard below, the rebound in rebar and iron ore contracts continued during Friday’s night session.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,924 , 1.90%
DCE Iron Ore ¥511.00 , 2.61%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,266.00 , 1.77%
DCE Coke ¥2,089.50 , 4.19%

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.

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