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MANILA: Singapore iron ore futures retreated on Wednesday after a two-day rally, while the Dalian market trimmed gains after Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country should stick to its “effective” pandemic management strategy.

China’s adherence to strict anti-COVID measures even as the rest of the world tries to live with the virus has battered its economy, dampening demand in the world’s biggest steel producer and iron ore importer.

Iron ore’s front-month July contract on the Singapore Exchange was down 2.2% at $121.50 a tonne, as of 0706 GMT. SGX iron ore hit its highest since June 17 on Tuesday at $125.10 a tonne, while benchmark 62%-grade iron ore’s spot price climbed $3 to $124, based on SteelHome consultancy data, as China eased quarantine requirements for international arrivals.

On China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most-traded September iron ore contract ended daytime trade 2.3% higher at 803.50 yuan ($119.89) a tonne, extending gains to a fourth session but off an intraday high of 822.50 yuan, Xi, during a visit on Tuesday to the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first reported, said China would accept some temporary impact on economic development rather than let people’s lives and health be harmed, Xinhua news agency reported.

Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.5%, while hot-rolled coil climbed 0.7%. Stainless steel dropped 0.5%. Dalian coking coal advanced 3.4% and coke gained 1.8%.

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