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Iron ore price rises despite lockdown on China steel hub

The iron ore price rose on Wednesday despite the decision by top steelmaking city Tangshan to implement a temporary lockdown.

The Tangshan government implemented the lockdown on Tuesday to avoid further cases of covid-19 as infections surged, the local government said in a statement.

“Although consumption for steel products are relatively sluggish, production is also falling,” analysts with Huatai Futures wrote in a note.

The situation of tight raw materials inventories has not been reversed yet, which could further sustain steel prices, analysts added.

According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $145.49 a tonne on Wednesday, up 1.4% compared to Tuesday’s closing.

Steelmaking ingredients on the Dalian Commodity Exchange were mixed after falling more than 3% during the night session, with benchmark iron ore edging up 0.4% to 823 yuan a tonne.

“Due to transportation disruptions, most steel mills face raw material shortages … and there’s even possibility for production halt,” said Huatai Futures, noting that iron ore demand will be dampened.

($1 = 6.3743 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(With files from Reuters)

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