SHANGHAI, May 8 (SMM) – Spot iron ore trading in China was overall quiet on Monday May 7 as steel mills mostly took a watch-and-wait stance at the beginning of a week.
In Tangshan, Pilbara Blend fines traded at 472-473 yuan/mt, unchanged from last Friday. In Shandong, the traded price inched up in the afternoon, as iron ore futures prices rebounded with the main contract closing higher at 470 yuan/mt on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
A source at an east China steel mill said one of its blast furnaces was returning online and he was looking to buy iron ore. However, he will only purchase on demand, as he has on-hand inventory that can last for 15 days.
A total of 73 vessels with 10.72 million mt of iron ore are expected to arrive at major Chinese ports during May 4-10, SMM learned. This will be up 1.05 million mt from 9.67 million mt during April 27 to May 3 and marked a rebound after two consecutive weeks of decline.
For the same period, volumes of iron ore departing Australian ports are likely to increase for four consecutive weeks to 15.84 million mt; those leaving Brazilian ports are likely to fall 260,000 mt to 8 million mt on maintenance at ports.
Supply pressure continued to hold back iron ore prices. However, they are likely to gain support from steady steel prices and demand for high-grade ore. We expect iron ore prices to hover at a relatively high level in the short run.
SMM's MMi Iron Ore Port Index stood at 478 yuan/wmt fot Qingdao on Monday for 62% Fe fines, up 1 yuan/wmt from Friday May 4.
The index for 58% Fe fines was unchanged at 333 yuan/wmt while the index for 65% Fe fines was up 1 yuan/wmt to 572 yuan/wmt.
SMM and its new price index business Metals Market Index (MMi) launched the iron ore port indices on May 2 as port prices continued to gain importance in pricing the steelmaking raw material.
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