September 21, 2017 / 2:32 AM / 9 months ago

China iron ore extends losses to 2-month low amid glut concerns

* Dalian iron ore drops for fifth day in six

* Shanghai rebar weakens again

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures fell for a fifth session in six on Thursday, reflecting oversupply concerns as global miners ramp up output while near-term steel demand in top consumer China looks at risk.

Amid weaker futures, spot iron ore dropped below $70 a tonne this week for the first time since July, as bids for physical cargoes slipped, traders said.

The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange touched a session low of 483 yuan ($73) a tonne, its weakest since July 24. It was down 2.3 percent at 484 yuan, as of 0215 GMT.

Among the new iron ore supply to the market includes top producer Vale’s S11D expansion project, which produced 12 million tonnes in January-August, and is expected to produce 9-11 million tonnes in September-December.

The project will help produce up to 90 million tonnes a year from 2018 onwards.

A Shanghai-based trader said the sustained drop in iron ore stockpiles at China’s ports was not necessarily reflective of firm demand for the raw material.

“There were some delays in the discharge of ships because of stormy weather in the eastern coast of China and also other parts of North Asia,” he said.

Port inventory dropped for a seventh consecutive week to 131.85 million tonnes last week, the lowest since mid-April, data from SteelHome consultancy showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB rose 1.2 percent to $69.65 a tonne on Wednesday, a day after touching a near two-month trough, according to Metal Bulletin.

In a potential risk for Chinese steel demand, Beijing said it would suspend construction of major public projects during winter to improve the capital’s air quality.

Construction of road and water projects, as well as demolition of housing, will be banned from Nov. 15 to March 15, within the city’s six major districts and surrounding suburbs, the official Xinhua News agency reported on Sunday.

The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.4 percent to 3,733 yuan per tonne. ($1 = 6.5926 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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