BEIJING: Benchmark iron ore futures in China dived to its daily trading limit in Tuesday morning trade, and fell below 600 yuan ($93.75) per tonne for the first time in nearly a year due to loose supply condition and poor demand outlook.
Shipments from major miners in Australia and Brazil have been stable at relatively high levels. Iron ore exports from the two countries increased by nearly one million tonnes to 23.96 million tonnes as of Nov.1, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.
Data from the consultancy also showed on Tuesday that iron ore inventories at 45 ports in China jumped to 146.5 million tonnes this week, up 4.05 million tonnes from the week earlier.
The demand side of raw materials, however, remained cool on steel production controls and sluggish downstream consumption.
“Affected by heating season and winter Olympics (controls), molten iron output is hard to increase and could stay weak in short-to-medium term,” SinoSteel Futures wrote in a note.
Zhuo Guiqiu, analyst with Jinrui Capital, also noted daily molten iron production is at much lower level compared with same period in past two years. “Steel products consumption also failed market expectation due to slack property market and infrastructure constructions,” Zhuo added.
The most actively traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January delivery, plummeted 10% the daily trading limit to 565.5 yuan per tonne, their lowest level since Nov.18, 2020.
Coking coal futures on the Dalian bourse slipped 1.4% to 2,192 yuan a tonne as of 0320 GMT.
Coke prices inched up 0.1% to 2,967 yuan a tonne, after gaining as much as 5.1% earlier during the session.
Construction used steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange tumbled 7.3% to 4,264 yuan per tonne.
Hot rolled coils slumped 6.5% to 4,608 yuan a tonne and stainless steel futures dropped 1.9% to 18,540 yuan per tonne.