* Dalian iron ore slumps as much as 4.6%
* Spot iron ore struggles in bear market
* Jefferies cuts iron ore price forecasts
By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Most ferrous metals in China’s futures markets remained under pressure on Wednesday, with iron ore hitting its lowest in six weeks amid the spectre of rising supply and weakening demand.
The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange , for January 2020 delivery, slumped as much as 4.6% to 666 yuan ($94.52) a tonne, the weakest intraday level since June 26. It was down 4.4% by the midday break.
Slipping into bear market territory, spot cargoes of benchmark 62% iron ore for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 finished at $101 a tonne on Tuesday, based on SteelHome consultancy data. That reflects a more than 20% drop from last month’s five-year peak.
“Steel mills are reluctant to buy iron ore, waiting for prices to further go down,” a Shanghai-based trader said.
Market participants were cautious while keeping an eye on the U.S.-China trade war developments and the weak yuan, the trader added.
Dalian iron ore lost 10% in the last four sessions, with signs that the global supply crunch is easing and the seasonal tepid demand for steel during summer in China fuelling its pullback from record highs.
Amid the recovery in shipments from Brazil and Australia, stockpiles of the steelmaking material at Chinese ports SH-TOT-IRONINV rose for a third week in a row to 121.05 million tonnes, as of Friday, SteelHome data showed. That was the highest since June 6 this year.
As iron ore suffered a reversal of fortune and the trade war escalated, Jefferies on Tuesday lowered its ratings on several miners and reduced its commodity price forecasts.
“A slowdown in construction and a decline in Chinese manufacturing and exports due to trade wars would be significant negatives for metals’ demand, even if fiscal/monetary stimulus leads to some recovery in the broader Chinese economy,” the brokerage said in a note.
* Singapore iron ore futures also fell on Wednesday, with the September 2019 contract down 1.5% at $91.78 a tonne in late morning trade.
* Jefferies reduced its 2019 price forecast for iron ore fines by over 10% to $88 per tonne, while that of iron ore lump was cut to $106 per tonne.
* The most-active construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.7% to 3,717 yuan a tonne.
* Hot-rolled steel, used in cars and home appliances, slipped 0.7% to 3,656 yuan a tonne.
* Other steelmaking ingredients were mixed, with Dalian coking coal down 0.3% at 1,402.50 yuan a tonne, while coke gained 0.3% to 2,054.50 yuan per tonne.
* U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed fears of a protracted trade war with China on Tuesday despite a warning from Beijing that labelling it a currency manipulator would have severe consequences for the global financial order.
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$1 = 7.0460 yuan Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta