SHANGHAI, Dec 9 (SMM) – Dalian iron ore futures rose nearly 6% to the highest in more than four months on Monday, leading the gains across the ferrous complex as market sentiment improved on strong US jobs data, hopes for a preliminary trade deal between Washington and Beijing as well as additional cuts on oil production.
The most active iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for May delivery hit its highest since August at 655.5 yuan/mt in morning trade, before it finished the trading day 5.58% higher at 653 yuan/mt.
Shanghai rebar futures climbed 2.75% on the day, and hot-rolled coil advanced 1.6%.
The launch of China’s first iron ore options and positive fundamentals helped iron ore become the stellar performer amid the broader uptrend. China’s 10 first iron ore options kicked off trading on the DCE on Monday December 9.
Going into a tropical cyclone season in Australia, iron ore supply is set to decline in the coming months, while Chinese steelmakers are stockpiling raw materials in the run-up to the Chinese New Year holiday in late January.
Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, last week lowered its production outlook for the first quarter of 2020 to a range of 68-73 million mt from a previously-announced range of 70-75 million mt, as it would slash output from its Brucutu mine in Brazil.
Inventories of imported iron ore across Chinese ports declined for a second straight week last week, standing at 113.5 million mt as of December 6, down 13.44 million mt from a year ago, showed SMM data.
Customs data released on Sunday revealed that China's iron ore imports fell in November, shrinking 2.4% from a month ago to stand at 90.65 million mt.
Beijing’s infrastructure push and resilience in property sector, meanwhile, will support demand for steel in the medium- and long-term, providing traction to prices of the steelmaking raw material.
China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved more than 50 infrastructure projects this year, involving a total investment of more than 1.3 trillion yuan in fields like urban rail, airport expansion and coal mines, according to data from Securities Daily reported on December 9.