* Heavy smog blankets northern Chna for fourth day
* Tianjin port halts operations due to smog - traders
By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, Dec 21 Chinese steel and iron ore
futures dropped for a sixth consecutive session on Wednesday as
heavy smog that has enveloped most of northern China curbed
Construction activity has halted and many steel mills were
ordered to reduce output to help rein in emissions, traders say,
as northern Chinese cities including the capital Beijing saw
thick smog for a fourth day.
Tianjin port, one of China's busiest, has stopped handling
coal, iron ore and other non-liquid products, traders familiar
with the move said on Tuesday.
"I can't see anything from my window," said a Tianjin-based
trader who has opted to stay home given the poor visibility in
the city. "Our cargo agent will inform me when the port will
The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
was down 0.8 percent at 564 yuan ($81) a tonne by
midday break. It has lost 14 percent since hitting a nearly
three-year high last week.
Due to the heavy smog, authorities have asked mills in
northern China including in the top steel-producing province
Hebei to restrict production, said a trader in Shanghai.
"Some mills are not running on full capacity to reduce
emissions," he said, adding that steel supply was high.
Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.7
percent to 3,135 yuan per tonne, falling 12 percent since
touching a 32-month peak last week.
Physical iron ore trading had a similarly bearish tone,
pushing the spot price back below $80 a tonne.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB
slid 2 percent to $79.62 a tonne on Tuesday, according to Metal
Bulletin. The spot benchmark touched a two-year high of $83.58
on Dec. 12.
($1 = 6.9489 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)