Iron ore prices slide ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations

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Iron ore spot markets continued to retreat on Friday, undermined by a drop-off in activity and softer sentiment ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by 0.7% to $US80.41 a tonne, leaving it at the lowest level seen since January 11.

The losses for lower grade ores were even larger with the price for 58% fines sliding by 2.53% to $US59.17 a tonne.

Analysts at Metal Bulletin said that the weakness coincided with another decline in rebar futures on the Shanghai Commodities Exchange.

“Futures dropped again today with bearish sentiment dominating the market,” said the group. “Meanwhile, sellers refused to cut prices despite few deals being concluded even at lower prices.”

This stalemate between buyers and sellers was likely exacerbated by many users breaking for New year celebrations, beginning on January 28.

And it looks like thin market conditions continued to impact sentiment on Friday evening with rebar, iron ore and coking coal futures all tumbling for the session.

The May 2017 iron ore future on the Dalian Commodities Exchange slumped 2.31% to 612.5 yuan, well below the multi-year high of 666 yuan struck earlier in the week.

Rebar and coking coal futures also came under pressure, tumbling 2.86% and 3.69% over the same period.

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at Midday AEDT.

Here’s how they finished up on Friday evening.

SHFE Copper ¥46,740 , 0.32%
SHFE Aluminium ¥13,810 , 2.33%
SHFE Zinc ¥22,400 , 0.47%
SHFE Nickel ¥82,200 , -1.43%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,158 , -2.86%
DCE Iron Ore ¥612.50 , -2.31%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,175.50 , -3.69%
DCE Coke ¥1,600.00 , -3.53%

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