Dalian iron ore climbs to 3-month top on steel rally, dumping probe


Chinese iron ore futures rose more than 3 percent to the highest since April on Thursday, tracking big gains in steel prices, while sentiment was also supported by a call from local miners to probe cheap imports which have hurt the domestic industry.

Iron ore traded on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange added to Wednesday’s nearly 6 percent rally after more than 20 Chinese miners on Tuesday called for an anti-dumping investigation into imports of the steelmaking raw material from top suppliers Australia and Brazil.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if the government eventually restricts imported ore then the local iron ore price will definitely go up,” said a Shanghai-based iron ore trader.

The most-traded September iron ore on the Dalian exchange climbed as much as 3.5 percent to 473.50 yuan ($71) a tonne, its strongest level since April 25. It was up 3.3 percent at 472.50 yuan by 0303 GMT.

The gains also reflect the strength in steel prices which have been pushed up by tighter Chinese supply amid Beijing’s continuing environmental crackdown that has led to the closure of some mills, traders say.

From July 11 to 22, the average daily crude steel output by 94 major steel mills in China fell 0.8 percent to 1.6897 million from the previous 10-day period, according to Argonaut Securities.

“Domestic steel market remains tight,” the brokerage said in a note.

The most-active rebar, a construction steel product, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 3.7 percent at 2,494 yuan a tonne, after hitting a 1-1/2-week peak of 2,503 yuan earlier.

Buoyed by stronger futures, benchmark spot iron ore delivered to China’s Tianjin port .IO62-CNI=SI rose 1 percent to $58 a tonne on Wednesday, a level last seen on July 14, according to The Steel Index.

Citing recent volatility in prices, Goldman Sachs said it has lifted its three-month and six-month iron ore target price to $50 and $40 a tonne, from $45 and $35 a tonne, respectively.

“Overall, we expect iron ore prices to fall to $35/tonne over the next year and the ferrous space is likely to see continued volatility until steel inventories return to normal levels,” Goldman said in a report.

Source: Reuters

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