December 16, 2019 / 4:10 AM / 2 months ago

China iron ore futures slip on outlook uncertainty

* Dalian iron ore down as much as 1.6% in morning trade

* Spot 62% iron ore rose to $95.5 per tonne on Friday

* Utilisation rates at mills fell last week - Mysteel

BEIJING, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures fell on Monday, giving up the previous session’s gains, as lower utilisation rates at mills and fresh data cast doubt on demand for the steelmaking raw material.

The most-actively traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May 2020 delivery, declined as much as 1.6% to 641 yuan ($91.07) per tonne in morning trade. It slid 0.8% to 646 yuan by 0330 GMT.

The benchmark steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, also for May 2020 delivery, declined 0.9% to 3,493 yuan per tonne.

Weekly utilisation rates at 163 steel mills across China dropped to 65.88% last week, data compiled by Mysteel consultancy showed, suggesting slowing consumption of the steelmaking ingredient.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said crude steel output fell to 80.29 million tonnes in November from 81.52 million tonnes a month earlier.

Fixed asset investment in the country showed no signs of improvement, growing 5.2% from January-November, in line with a 5.2% rise in the first 10 months, which was the weakest pace in decades.

Shanghai hot-rolled coil futures, for January 2020 delivery, dropped 1.0% to 3,712 yuan per tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Prices for spot cargoes of benchmark iron ore with 62% Fe content for delivery to China rose to $95.5 a tonne last Friday.

* Other steelmaking ingredients were mixed. Dalian coking coal jumped 1.6% to 1,250 yuan per tonne, while Dalian coke fell 0.8% to 1,829 yuan per tonne.

* China produced 38.63 million tonnes of coke in November, up 4.9% from the same period last year, according to the NBS.

* Shanghai stainless steel futures, for February 2020 delivery, edged up 0.2% to 14,240 yuan per tonne.

* China and the United States have agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal, and Beijing has decided to cancel an earlier plan to impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports on Dec.15, senior Chinese government officials said on Friday.

$1 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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