BEIJING: Iron ore futures rose on Monday, with China’s benchmark contract extending a run of strong gains for a third session, buoyed by a positive demand outlook for the steelmaking ingredient in the world’s top steel producer.
However, trading in iron ore spot and futures thinned as China heads for a week-long Lunar New Year holiday from Thursday.
Iron ore’s most-traded May contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trading 2.9% higher at 1,028 yuan ($159.21) a tonne, after earlier hitting 1,033 yuan, its strongest level since Jan. 28.
The most-active March iron ore on the Singapore Exchange climbed 2.8% to $155.15 a tonne by 0727 GMT.
China’s appetite for iron ore remains strong despite seasonally-weak domestic demand for steel products, as imports likely rose sharply last month.
China’s January iron ore imports reached 108 million tonnes, a gain of 18 million tonnes over December and 9 million tonnes from a year earlier, according to market intelligence firm Kpler.
Refinitiv data shows monthly imports below 100 million tonnes, but higher versus December.