Iron ore markets are trading mixed

Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Iron ore spot markets finished mixed on Wednesday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines fell 0.6% to $70.85 a tonne, trimming its advance this week to 2.2%.

In comparison to the benchmark, lower grades pushed higher, continuing the trend seen since late last week.

58% fines added 0.9% to $40.05 a tonne. Ore with 65% Fe content was unchanged at $87.10 a tonne.

The mixed performance in spot markets followed an equally strange day in Chinese futures with rebar contracts falling heavily while iron ore contracts recovered.

The May 2018 rebar contract in Shanghai closed down 2.4% at 3,831 yuan a tonne, weighed down by pessimism over the near-term demand outlook.

“The turning point for steel prices has come now. Physical market activity has slowed down due to the seasonal weakness in demand,” Cao Ying, an analyst with SDIC Essence Futures in Beijing, told Reuters.

Demand for steel product tends to decline nearing year-end as construction activity in China slows during winter.

In comparison to rebar futures, iron ore contracts in Dalian went in the other direction, finishing up 0.7% at 507 yuan a tonne having fallen modestly in the previous session.

As seen in the scoreboard below, movements in both contracts were minimal during Wednesday’s night session.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,844 , -0.10%
DCE Iron Ore ¥502.50 , 0.30%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,267.50 , -1.36%
DCE Coke ¥2,025.50 , -2.83%

Trade will resume at midday AEDT, one hour before the release of major economic data in China.

Industrial output, including steel production, is expected to lift 6% in November from a year earlier, a small deceleration on the 6.2% pace reported in October.

Urban fixed asset investment, including property investment, is tipped to have risen 7.2% in the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, slightly weaker that the 7.3% annual pace reported between January to October.

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