Iron ore spot markets pushed higher on Monday, following another strong lead from Chinese futures.
And it looks like the price could surge even higher should the gain in futures overnight be anything to go by.
According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines jumped by a further 1.07% to $78.62 a tonne, extending its gain this year to 80.5%.
Higher grade ore recorded even stronger gains, while lower grade ore was unchanged.
Analysts at Metal Bulletin said the strength in higher grade ore was led by a rebound in steel prices in China.
“China’s spot rebar prices increased as trading activity continued to pick up amid tightening supply,” it said, noting many major steel producing regions have cracked down on substandard steel product in recent days, leading to many small steel mills to halt production.
“The tightening supply led to bullish sentiment in the spot market. Gains in the futures market during the day provided additional support to spot prices,” said the group.
Chinese futures traded in a more than 7% range on Monday, initially falling more than 2% before surging higher in the latter parts of the session.
This underlines that much of the market moves in spot, physical and futures markets continue to be driven by speculative forces.
And if that relationship is maintained on Tuesday, the benchmark spot price may well top $80 a tonne later Tuesday.
Iron ore futures went ballistic again in overnight trade.
The most actively traded May 2017 contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange jumped by 4.62% to 611.5 yuan.
There were also gains of 2.9% and 2% respectively for rebar and coking coal futures over the same period.
Should those gains be maintained or built upon during Tuesday’s day session — starting at midday AEDT — it points to the likelihood of further gains in spot and physical markets arriving later in the day.