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SINGAPORE: Dalian iron ore futures hit a one-week low on Tuesday, as the Chinese government continued to monitor prices and intervene in the market to curb a price rally.

The most-traded January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange recorded its steepest declines in two weeks and fell 2.3% to 954 yuan ($133.41) per metric ton as of 0240 GMT.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark December iron ore was down 3.1% at $132.69 a ton.

“Borrowing a wrestling term, we are now witnessing high-frequency smackdowns by the Chinese authorities, as they intervene in the market for the fourth time in the last seven days,” said Atilla Widnell, managing director at Navigate Commodities.

“Authorities believe that iron ore prices do not align with supply and demand, as the market reacts to optimism stemming from a successful bailout of beleaguered property developers.”

China’s state planner said on Friday it would strengthen the supervision of iron ore at ports and guard against hoarding and speculation in order to maintain an orderly market.

China’s state planner said on Monday that it had conducted a survey on the price indices of several commodities, including steel and iron ore.

The move by the pricing monitoring centre of the Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) came after the NDRC issued two warnings on reinforcing the supervision on the iron ore market in the past week.

Iron ore eases after China intensifies intervention

Other steelmaking ingredients continued to rally on expectation of tightening supply following production suspension at a few mines in top coal production hub north China’s Shanxi province after mining accidents surged.

Dalian coking coal and coke inched up 1.5% and 0.3%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly up/down.

The most-active rebar contract strengthened 0.8%, hot-rolled coil dropped 0.5%, wire rod increased 0.6%, and stainless steel gained 0.2%.

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