Iron ore remained range bound this week

11th June 2018

Weak buying interest from the Chinese saw the sea borne iron ore prices remaining range bound. Meanwhile, China’s iron ore imports bounced back in May as steel mills that were idled during the winter months as part of a government drive against pollution, hit output records.

According to the data from China’s Iron & Steel Association, the daily crude steel output by major steel mills hit a record 1.96 million tonnes in the first 20 days of May.

Recent customs data showed that the imports of iron ore fines and lump ore from Australia, Brazil and South Africa rose 13.5% from April to 94.14 million tonnes. Cargoes for the first five months of 2018 now total 448 million tonnes.

Onto the benchmark prices of sea-borne iron ore, Platts assessed the 62% Fe IODEX & TSI Iron Ore Fines at $65.10/dmt CFR North China on Friday. Meanwhile, TSI 58% Fe Fines, 1.5% Al, CFR Qingdao port closed the week at $54.10/dmt.

Chinese futures

Iron ore futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange decreased Friday, with the most liquid September contract last trading at Yuan 467/dmt ($72.97/dmt), down Yuan 2/dmt on the day, and settling at Yuan 467/dmt, down Yuan 5.50/dmt over the same period.

Steel rebar futures also softened, with the most actively traded October contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange last traded at Yuan 3,806/mt ($594.66/mt), down Yuan 1/mt on the day, and last settled at Yuan 3,801/mt, down Yuan 18/mt over the same period.

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