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China iron ore price surges to highest since August on improving consumption

Iron ore futures in China jumped 4% on Wednesday, hitting their highest level in more than eight months, as trading resumed after the Tomb Sweeping Festival holidays.

The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, rose as much as 4.1% to 945 yuan ($148.49) per tonne, as demand at steel producers recovered from pandemic disruptions.

“Currently, the sluggish property market in China has dented steel and iron ore consumption… but iron ore destocking has started,” analysts with Huatai Futures wrote in a note.

According to SteelHome, portside iron ore inventories in China were at 155.6 million tonnes in the week ended April 1, down by 4 million tonnes from a week earlier and 3.3% from the peak in mid-February.

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With expectations that China will stabilise its economy and stimulate the real estate sector, iron ore demand is seen to be rising, the Huatai analysts said.

According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $159.29 a tonne during morning trading, down 0.8% compared to Tuesday’s closing.

“Downstream demand (of steel rebar) has been postponed due to the pandemic,” SinoSteel Futures said in a note, adding that consumption would recover amid relatively easy credit.

($1 = 6.3642 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(With files from Reuters)

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