UPDATE 1-Iron ore leads ferrous selloff on China demand scepticism

Reuters · 05/11/2023 03:43
UPDATE 1-Iron ore leads ferrous selloff on China demand scepticism

Dalian iron ore slumps more than 3%

SGX iron ore sinks back below $100/T

Shanghai steel benchmarks tumble

Updates price changes throughout

By Enrico Dela Cruz

- Iron ore dipped on Thursday, with Dalian futures retreating from a more-than-two-week high and the Singapore benchmark contract sinking back below $100 a tonne on scepticism over prospects of demand recovery in China.

The most-traded September iron ore on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 ended daytime trade 3.5% lower at 698.50 yuan ($101.05) a tonne. It climbed to 733 yuan on Wednesday, its strongest since April 24.

On the Singapore Exchange, iron ore's benchmark June contract SZZFM3 was down 3.7% at $99.50 a tonne, as of 0720 GMT.

Prices of the steelmaking ingredient rebounded earlier this week following cumulative heavy losses since last month.

The prices were propped up by expectations of expanded stimulus for China's economy amid a patchy recovery and a challenging outlook due to external headwinds.

Data on Thursday showed China's consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in more than two years in April, while factory gate deflation deepened, suggesting more stimulus may be to boost an uneven post-COVID economic recovery.

Iron ore prices also received an extra boost from reports that some of China's steel mills were set to resume production following maintenance shutdown, and its confirmation of steel output cuts, which supported steel prices and steel mills' margins.

"We believe the rally in iron ore is unsustainable, as we don't expect a quick turnaround in steel demand amid a weak property market in China," Citi analysts said in a .

Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 shed 2.7%, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 dipped 3%, wire rod SWRcv1 slumped 4.5%, and stainless steel SHSScv1 lost 1.4%.

Coking coal DJMcv1 and coke DCJcv1 on the Dalian exchange dropped 1.3% and 2.4%, respectively.

Steel mills in North China's Hebei and East China's Shandong provinces lowered coke procurement prices by another 100 yuan a tonne on May 10, marking the seventh round of price cut since April, according to consultancy and data provider Mysteel.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; additional reporting by Amy Lv in Beijing; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Janane Venkatraman)