Iron ore prices stayed near $75 mark

Demand for iron ore was subdued as the domestic Chinese iron ore prices continued to decline and the interest waned in the seaborne material as the restocking of raw material feed is already done ahead on upcoming holidays in China.

Looking at the benchmark iron ore prices, Platts assessed the 62% Fe IODEX & TSI Iron Ore Fines at $74.60/dry mt CFR North China on Friday. Moreover, TSI 58% Fe Fines, 1.5% Al, CFR Qingdao port closed at $60.60/dmt.

China’s domestic iron ore

Domestic iron ore prices continued to inch lower as Chinese mills were eyeing cheaper substitutes such as lumps to feed their furnaces. Price spread between seaborne cargoes and port based material has narrowed down which have brought cost competitiveness to seaborne iron ore.

Platts assessed Chinese domestic 66% Fe concentrates at Yuan 700/dmt delivered to mills in Tangshan, down Yuan 10/dmt on the week. Meanwhile, Platts’ iron ore 62% Fe iron ore port stock index, or IOPEX North China, was assessed at Yuan 587/dmt FOT Friday, or at $75.14/dmt on an import parity basis, down Yuan 5/dmt day on day.

Futures trade

Futures saw trends reversing from the previous week as the bearishness seen in physical market was also visible in the paper trade.

Steel rebar futures also fell, with the most actively traded May contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange last traded at Yuan 3,945/mt ($621.89/mt), down Yuan 21/mt on the day, and settled at Yuan 3,948/mt, down Yuan 10/mt over the same period.

Iron ore futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange decreased Friday, with the most liquid May contract last trading at Yuan 519/dmt ($81.81/dmt), down Yuan 10.50/dmt day on day, and settling at Yuan 521.50/dmt, down Yuan 5.50/dmt over the same period.

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