July 12, 2019 / 2:14 AM / 11 days ago

China iron ore set for best week in three on supply concerns

MANILA, July 12 (Reuters) - Dalian iron ore futures edged up on Friday, with lingering supply concerns driving the steelmaking commodity to its best week so far since mid-June, though output restrictions in some of China’s steel hubs kept gains in check.

The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for September delivery gained as much as 1% to 881.50 yuan ($128.29) a tonne and was on track to book its fifth consecutive weekly gain. It had risen 3.7% from last week as of 0149 GMT.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Benchmark 62% grade spot iron ore for delivery to China was steady at $119.50 a tonne on Thursday, near the more than five-year high of $126.50 hit on July 3, data from SteelHome consultancy showed.

* Imported iron ore inventory at Chinese ports has fallen 18% this year in the wake of mine shutdowns in Brazil due to safety checks following the deadly collapse of one of miner Vale SA’s tailings dams. SH-TOT-IRONINV

* Weather-related disruptions in supply from Australia further reduced iron ore shipments to China in recent months.

* Iron ore port stocks in China hit a 2-1/2-year low of 115.25 million tonnes by the end of June, before rising slightly to 115.6 million tonnes last week, SteelHome data showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV.

* Chinese steel futures were little changed in early trade, with the most-active construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange down 0.2% at 3,995 yuan a tonne.

* Hot rolled coil, the steel used in cars and home appliances, was down 0.4% at 3,855 yuan.

* Other steelmaking inputs were trading mixed. Dalian coking coal futures inched up 0.9% to 1,401 yuan a tonne, while coke was steady at 2,092.50 yuan.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares pulled back on Friday as worries over renewed Sino-U.S. trade tensions weighed on sentiment ahead of the release of June trade data from China, though expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut later this month kept losses in check.

($1 = 6.8710 yuan)

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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