November 21, 2019 / 3:46 AM / 21 days ago

China iron ore futures dip amid worries over U.S.-China trade deal delay

* Dalian iron ore edges down in morning trade

* Spot 62% iron ore rises to $86.5 per tonne

* A U.S.-China “Phase One” trade deal could slide into 2020

By Min Zhang and Enrico Dela Cruz

BEIJING, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures in China fell on Thursday amid uncertainty on whether China and the United States could reach a “phase one” trade deal agreement this year.

Completion of the “phase one” trade deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House said.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He said he is “confused” about U.S. demands, but is confident that a first phase trade deal can be reached, Bloomberg reported.

The most-actively traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January 2020 delivery, inched down 0.1% to 637 yuan ($90.77) per tonne by 0330 GMT.

Prices for spot cargoes of benchmark iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China rose for a sixth session to $86.5 per tonne on Wednesday.

Spot cargoes rose as steel margins are improving, said Darren Toh, data scientist at Singapore-based steel and iron data analytics company Tivlon Technologies.

The most-traded construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for January 2020 delivery, fell 0.6% to 3,640 yuan a tonne, snapping a seven-session gain.

Hot-rolled coil, used for cars and home appliances, slid 0.3% to 3,526 yuan per tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Other steelmaking ingredients fell — Dalian coke declined 0.7% to 1,801 yuan a tonne and Dalian coking coal slid 0.4% to 1,257 yuan per tonne.

* Shanghai stainless steel futures fell 0.5% to 14,355 yuan per tonne.

* China still faces severe external and internal challenges but government has the confidence, patience and determination to achieve the country’s rejuvenation, Vice President Wang Qishan said on Thursday.

* For the top stories of metals and other news, click TOP/MTL or MET/L ($1 = 7.0401 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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