* Rebar, iron ore futures recover at close after volatile
* Both commodities hit fresh three-month lows before rebound
By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, April 20 Iron ore and steel futures in
China bounced back on Thursday from a three-day fall and after a
volatile session that saw both commodities slide to their lowest
in more than three months.
The intraday selloff underlined investor worries over
plentiful supply of steel and iron ore and lean demand and the
ensuing recovery in prices could be short-lived as the outlook
China's crude steel output reached a record 72 million
tonnes in March as mills anticipated brisk seasonal demand
starting this month. But demand has been slow so far, leaving
mills and traders with hefty inventories, traders said.
"I'm not very sure whether there's enough new demand to
match this big production of steel," said a Shanghai-based
The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
closed up 1.8 percent at 2,889 yuan ($420) a tonne.
The construction steel product bounced back towards the
day's peak of 2,928 yuan after falling to 2,775 yuan, its
weakest since Jan. 9.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed
3.1 percent to end at 488.50 yuan per tonne, near the session's
peak of 490 yuan. The contract hit 460.50 yuan earlier, also the
lowest since Jan. 9.
There is no rush among Chinese mills to buy iron ore, said
the Shanghai trader. "Mills have more choices because there's
plenty of port stocks," he said.
Iron ore piggybacked on the rally in steel prices early this
year and steel's consequent retreat has dragged down iron ore as
The steelmaking raw material is similarly hit by a glut,
with stockpiles at China's ports staying near the highest level
in more than a decade as arrivals continue.
China's iron ore imports reached 95.56 million tonnes in
March, the second-highest monthly volume on record.
Stockpiles of imported iron ore at China's major ports stood
at 130.4 million tonnes on April 14, according to data tracked
by SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-IRONINV
That is not far below the 132.45 million tonnes where it
stood on March 24, the highest since SteelHome began tracking it
in 2004. That volume would make about 95 million tonnes of
steel, enough to build 12,960 replicas of the 324-metre
(1,063-foot) high Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB
climbed 2.2 percent to $64.60 a tonne on Wednesday, according to
Metal Bulletin, after a two-day drop.
($1 = 6.8841 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu
and Amrutha Gayathri)