Iron ore prices slip again

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
  • Iron ore prices fell across the board on Tuesday.
  • Two Chinese steel producers announced they will cut prices for delivery in January.
  • Chinese lending figures breezed past market expectations in November, helping to boost Chinese commodity futures in overnight trade.

Iron ore prices continued to slide on Tuesday with modest declines seen across all major grades.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by 0.2% to $65.97 a tonne, extending its slide over the past four trading sessions to 2.1%.

The benchmark now sits at the lowest level since late November.

Small declines were also registered across lower and higher grades.

58% fines dipped 0.4% to $42.17 a tonne while the price for 65% Brazilian fines fell by a smaller 0.2% to $82.80 a tonne.

The weakness in spot markets coincided with a slide in Chinese steel futures during the session.

In what may have contributed to the weakness, two major Chinese steelmakers announced on Monday that they will cut prices for delivery in January.

However, as is so often the case in Chinese futures, those initial moves were reversed, and then some, in overnight trade on Tuesday.

SHFE Hot Rolled Coil ¥3,659 , 1.16%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,676 , 0.82%
DCE Iron Ore ¥511.00 , 0.10%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,434.00 , -0.10%
DCE Coke ¥2,362.50 , 0.62%

Rebar and hot-rolled coil futures for January delivery reversed earlier losses, finishing higher than Monday’s night session close of 3,631 and 3,605 yuan respectively.

Iron ore and coke futures also rose from 510 and 2,338.5 yuan on Monday evening.

Futures may have been helped by the release of Chinese lending figures earlier in the day, revealing new bank loans and broader total social financing breezed past market expectations in November, raising hopes for increased infrastructure spending and, as a result, stronger demand for steel and raw materials.

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.

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