SHANGHAI, Feb 17 (SMM) - Iron ore futures prices kept fluctuating downward, falling 3.79% throughout the day. The closing prices of iron ore contract were 684.5 yuan/mt. Most quotations of spot cargoes at ports in the morning market were single. The market had a strong wait-and-see sentiment. Traders’ enthusiasm for shipments were little, and steel mills purchased goods at low prices. Trading at ports was moderate. Prices of PB fines in Shandong dropped at 830-842 yuan/mt, down 30-40 yuan/mt from yesterday’s prices. Prices of super special fines in Shandong was 500 yuan/mt, down 20-30 yuan/mt from yesterday’s prices. The prices of PB fines in Tangshan was 835-842 yuan/mt, down 20 -25 yuan/mt from yesterday’s prices. According to SMM, the operating rate in this week is 77.7%, up 0.2 percentage from previous week and down 2.96 percentage from previous month. This week, the blast furnace operating rate increased slightly from the previous week, mainly due to the obvious improvement of air conditions in north China. The blast furnaces temporarily controlled and limited in production last week basically resumed production. In the future, although the production limit for the Winter Olympics ended at the weekend, there will be a production limit for the Paralympics from March 3 to March 13. According to SMM, most steel mills will maintain the production limit during this period, so the blast furnace operating rate is stable in the short term. However, the demand for iron ore cannot be raised, so the ore price will continue to fluctuate.