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Iron Ore subdued on China demand concerns


August 16, 2022

Iron Ore subdued on China demand concerns

Dalian and Singapore iron-ore futures were volatile on Tuesday as traders weighed curbs in industrial electricity consumption in China’s Sichuan province that hit steel production.

The most-traded iron ore, for delivery in January 2023, on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 ended daytime trade 0.3% lower at 720.50 yuan ($106.06) a tonne.

Earlier in the session, the steelmaking ingredient was buoyed by news of further government support for Chinese property developers hit by a financial crisis and prospects of accelerated infrastructure projects in China. 

Chinese regulators have instructed state-owned China Bond Insurance Co. Ltd. to provide guarantees for onshore bond issuance by some private property developers, according to Reuters sources. 

The additional state support comes as latest activity data pointed to a slowdown in top steel producer China amid its zero-Covid policy and the property downturn. 

Other steelmaking ingredients traded firmer, with Dalian coking coal DJMcv1 up 1.2% and coke DCJcv1 climbing 0.8%.

Also lending support, industry data showed Chinese steel mills ramping up production this month.

Average daily crude steel output among member mills of China Iron & Steel Association during the first 10 days of August rose 2.8%, or 53 100 tonnes, to 1.94 million tonnes from late July, consultancy and data provider Mysteel reported.

Iron ore is supported by demand in the short term, (but) there is pressure in the medium term,” Zhongzhou Futures analysts said in a note.

A power rationing in Sichuan aimed at ensuring sufficient supply to residents has prompted factory shutdowns or output cuts, with 80% of steel mills in the province stopping production, they said.

Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 slipped 0.1%, while hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 shed 0.8%. Stainless steel SHSScv1 dipped 0.3%.

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