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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 decline in more than a month and fell 2.6% to 951 yuan ($132.96) per metric ton at closing.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark December iron ore was down 3.2% at $132.69 a ton.

“Borrowing a wrestling term, we are now witnessing high-frequency smack downs 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 Monday that it had conducted a survey on the price indices of several commodities, including steel and iron ore, to maintain a healthy market. The move by the pricing monitoring centre of the Development and Reform Commission came after the issuance of two warnings on reinforcing the supervision of the iron ore market in the past week. China’s central bank governor said on Tuesday that monetary policy will remain accommodative to support the economy, but called for structural reforms over time to reduce a reliance on infrastructure and property for growth.

Other steelmaking ingredients continued to rally on expectation of tightening supply following production suspension at a few mines after mining accidents surged.

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