The iron ore price rose on Monday despite demand fears due to the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $103.27 a tonne, up 6.8% from Friday’s closing.
Shanghai stainless steel futures fell 2.6% to 17,170 yuan a tonne.
“Affected by the new coronavirus variant, steel prices fell during night session out of panic,” GF Futures wrote in a note, adding that impact on actual demand and supply of the industrial metal could be limited.
Analysts with CITIC Futures also noted that commodity prices could be pressured by the pandemic situation in the short term but would be supported by easing property policy in China in the long run.
The World Health Organisation warned that deciding the severity level of the Omicron variant could take “days to several weeks” in the absence of information that its symptoms differed from those of other variants.
The variant has been detected in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong after it was identified first in South Africa.
Meanwhile, a South African doctor said symptoms of the new virus variant were so far mild and could be treated at home.
(With files from Reuters)