The wild movements in the iron ore price are slowing

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

After recording its largest gain ever on Monday, only to fall by the most in years on Wednesday, relative calm returned to the spot iron ore market on Thursday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by 0.17%, or 10 cents, to $57.92 a tonne, trimming its weekly advance to 7.76%.

Year-to-date it has still risen by an impressive 32.9%.

While its movements have disconnected somewhat from spot pricing in recent days, Chinese iron ore and rebar futures fell modestly overnight, suggesting that bullish sentiment seen at the start of the week may be ebbing.

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodities Exchange fell by 1.14%, outpaced by a 1.58% decline in rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

Though it was unlikely behind the movements in either overnight, analysts at Metal Bulletin noted that Chinese steel production continued to increase in late February, fitting with recent strength in iron ore and steel prices.

“CISA [China iron and steel association] have announced that China‚Äôs daily crude steel output edged up in late February to an average rate of 1.59 million tonnes per day during the last nine days of February, up 2.3% from the preceding period,” said Metal Bulletin.

“The output rebound was within market expectations, as steel prices generally moved up after the week-long holiday earlier last month, which encouraged mills to speed up production for better profitability. Output is expected to rise further in March, as steel prices have maintained their upward trend, witnessing drastic surges over the past few days, which could prompt mills’ production interest, according to market sources.”

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