Iron ore slides to a 6-week low

Scott Barbour / AFL Media / Getty Images

Iron ore has fallen to a six-week week low.

The spot price for benchmark 62% fines slumped by 1.18% to $58.46 a tonne, according to Metal Bulletin, trimming its advance this year to 34.2%.

It now sits at the lowest level since July 26.

The benchmark price has now fallen for three consecutive sessions, and was only the second time in the past 15 sessions that the spot price moved more than one per cent in any direction.

Analysts at Metal Bulletin note that the decline corresponded with sliding rebar prices in physical markets.

Indicating that the weakness in spot markets may persist, Chinese iron ore futures continued to slip overnight, closing trade at 404.5 yuan, down 2.65% for the session.

There were also significant declines seen in rebar and coking coal futures, slipping 1.94% and 3.18% respectively.

Though unlikely to explain the weakness in futures or physical markets, iron ore exports from Port Hedland in Western Australia lifted to a record high in August, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority.

Over the month shipments totaled 42.875 million tonnes, blowing away the previous record set just two months earlier. Compared to July, volumes jumped by 10.7%, leaving the increase on a year earlier at 9.4%.

In cumulative terms, the port shipped 461.2 million tonnes of iron ore in the year to August, the largest annual total on record.

The port handles iron ore produced by Fortescue Metals, BHP Billiton and Gina Rinehart’s majority-owned Roy Hill mine.

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