Iron ore inventory decreases slightly at Chinese ports

As of December 1, inventory of iron ore at 33 major Chinese ports amounted to 104.82 million mt, down 1.09 million mt or 1.03 percent compared to the inventory level recorded on November 24, as announced by China’s Xinhua News Agency.

As of the same date, the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index for imported iron ore with 62 percent iron content was at 70 points, down one point week on week. Meanwhile, the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index for imported iron ore with 58 percent iron content was at 63 points on the date in question, remaining stable week on week.

During the given week, imported iron ore prices in China have indicated an overall declining trend. At the beginning of last week, there was scarce transaction activity in the iron ore market. Traders lowered their prices for imported iron ore, while bearish sentiment prevailed in the market. At the end of last week, due to the sharp rise in iron ore futures prices at Dalian Commodity Exchange, imported iron ore offer prices have indicated upticks, though most steelmakers have maintained a wait-and-see stance as regards purchasing activity.

On November 21, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) cut its benchmark interest rates, providing a certain degree of support for iron ore futures prices. Meanwhile, the situation of oversupply and sluggish demand in the finished steel market is unlikely to change in the short term, limiting the room for upward movement of finished steel prices, and so imported iron ore prices are unlikely to see a major change in the near future. It is expected that imported iron ore prices in the Chinese market will edge down in the coming week as the rebound in the futures market will not last for long without an improvement in demand.

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