Iron ore spot markets resumed their slide on Friday, coming under renewed selling pressure ahead of a long weekend in China.
According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by a further 1.7% to $80.39 a dry tonne, leaving it sitting at the lowest level since January 10.
For the week it lost 5.5%, taking its decline in March to 11.9%. Year to date it has now gained just 1.92%, having been up more than 20% at one point in late February.
Lower grade ores also fell with the spot price for 58% fines falling by a smaller 1.13% to $55.21 a dry tonne.
“March has proven to be a turbulent month for the iron ore market,” said analysts at Metal Bulletin. “Despite stubbornly resisting pressure for large periods of the month, over the past week recent support has given way to mounting pressure.”
The group said that the decline mirrored renewed weakness in rebar futures ahead of a long weekend in China for the Tomb-sweeping festival.
“Buyers suspended procurement again as the futures market started to trend downwards,” it said. “Furthermore, with the country on holiday on Monday and Tuesday for the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, it is anyone’s guess how prices will trend next week.”
With Chinese futures now closed until Wednesday, activity across spot markets is also likely to slow over the early parts of the week.