Mining News

Iron ore price down after Beijing moves to cool coal prices

Iron ore prices continued to fall on Thursday as Beijing beefed up measures to cool surging coal prices.

The country’s top economic planner held a slew of meetings with key producers and industry associations on Wednesday to discuss measures such as setting price levels and ways to better identify companies engaged in “profiteering”.

“The policy intervention in coal prices is intensifying, and exchanges have tightened trading rules for relevant products. The market is in panic,” analysts with SinoSteel Futures wrote in a note.

The most-active thermal coal contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange fell as much as 9.7% Thursday to 1,033.8 yuan ($161.48) a tonne, the lowest intraday price since mid-September. Coal futures have slumped more than 40% since hitting a record on Oct. 19.

According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $112.65 a tonne, down 5.8% from Wednesday’s closing.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for December delivery, slid 3.2% to 19,295 yuan per tonne.

“Affected by energy consumption controls, environmental curbs during winter heating season and the Winter Olympics… steel supply is expected to be restricted continuously, iron ore demand will be dented in the long term,” analysts with CITIC Securities said in a note.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)

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