Iron ore inventory decreases at Chinese ports

As of May 4, inventory of iron ore at 33 major Chinese ports amounted to 92.44 million mt, down 1.84 million mt or 1.95 percent compared to the inventory level recorded on April 27, as announced by China’s Xinhua News Agency on May 5.

As of the same date, the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index for imported iron ore with 62 percent iron content was at 56 points, down two points week on week. Meanwhile, the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index for imported iron ore with 58 percent iron content was at 50 points on the date in question, decreasing by two points week on week.

During the given week, imported iron ore prices moved up first under the influence of higher iron ore futures prices, but edged down later as steelmakers declined to accept the price rises. Around the Labor Day holiday period (May 1-3), downstream users were on holiday and so demand in the finished steel market was slack. The inventory levels of semi-finished steel and finished steel are estimated to be at high levels after the holiday, which will limit the upward movement of the finished steel market and thereby weaken support for imported iron ore prices. It is expected that imported iron ore prices in the Chinese market will fluctuate within a narrow range in the coming week.

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