Chinese iron ore, coke futures fall again on soft demand, high steel inventories

reuters.com Iron Ore,  futures 2018-03-14 08:17:00

Chinese iron ore futures declined for the seventh consecutive session to hit a nearly fourth-month low as steelmaking raw materials were pressured by soft demand for the metal and high product inventories held by trading companies.


Dalian iron ore futures tumbled more than 3% to an intraday low of 475.5 yuan/t ($75.12/t) on March 13, its deepest level since November 20.


Iron ore was at 477.5 yuan/t by the midday break, down 3%.


The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange also dropped for a seventh straight session, with steel demand failing to pick up as quickly as expected after the week-long Chinese New Year break in February.


Rebar was 0.6% lower at 3,717 yuan/t at midday.


High inventories of steel rebar products, mainly used for construction, have prompted some traders to sell their stocks at a loss and driven down prices.


Stockpiles of rebar inventory held in warehouses by traders rose to 9.64 million tonnes as of March 9, the highest since April 2013.


"This all weighed on iron ore, with futures being sold heavily around Asia," ANZ said in a research note.


"This bearish mood also weighed on coking coal prices. Premium hard coking coal fell sharply, as shrinking margins at steel mills reduced their appetite for coal. However, easing concerns about further weather-related supply issues also weighed on the market," ANZ said.


On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, coke dropped more than 3% to 2,003.5 yuan/t on March 13, the lowest in more than a month. At the break, coke was down 3.2% at 2,013 yuan/t.


Coking coal was down 1.8% at 1,294 yuan/t at midday, after earlier hitting 1,285.5 yuan/t, the lowest since February.


Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB dropped $3.14/t to $70.09/t on March 9 from the previous day, according to Metal Bulletin.


(Writing by Jessie Jia  Editing by Harry Huo)
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