Iron ore spot markets came under pressure on July 11 as trade fears flared again.
However, in comparison to the losses seen in other markets, especially commodities, it managed to escape the worst of the selling pressure.
The spot price for benchmark 62% fines skidded 0.9% to $63.34/t, according to Metal Bulletin, pushing back towards the multi-month low of $63.14/t struck last week.
A breach of $63.12/t for the benchmark would leave it sitting at the lowest level since November 2017.
In contrast to the benchmark, the losses in lower and higher grades were substantially smaller. The price of 58% fines fell 0.1% to $37.26/t while 65% fines lost 0.2% to settle at $90.80/t.
The resilient performance coincided with continued strength in Chinese steel prices, helping to cushion the fall in bulk commodity prices compared to those seen in base and precious metals.
Rebar futures in Shanghai finished trade at 3,879 yuan/t, just 10 yuan off July 10's night session close.
Traders put the ongoing strength down to temporary steel production cuts introduced in Tangshan, a major steel-making city in China.
With steel prices holding steady, it helped to lift Dalian iron ore futures which recovered after stumbling earlier in the session.
The September 2018 contract finished trade at 463.5 yuan/t, up from July 10's night session close of 458 yuan/t.
Coking coal and coke futures were also immune to the selloff in other commodities, finishing at 1,146 yuan/t and 2,024.5 yuan/t respectively, largely unchanged from the previous close.
That resilience continued in overnight trade with rebar futures storming to a fresh multi-year high during the session.
Despite the strength in steel prices, and a rally in other bulk commodity contracts, iron ore futures were largely unchanged for the session.
While temporary capacity cuts to steel production have helped to push prices higher, with the trade war with the United States escalating by the day, one suspects that speculation that policymakers may step in to shore up domestic economic activity may also be in the price.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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