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Dalian iron ore edges higher on China demand hopes; SGX prices slip

* Dalian iron ore up 0.9%, SGX iron ore down 0.8%

* China iron ore port stocks hit highest in nearly 7 months

* Looming La Nina may disrupt iron ore supply - ANZ analysts

MANILA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures edged higher on Monday on hopes that demand for the steelmaking ingredient will remain robust in the world’s top steel producer, although easing supply concerns capped gains in Dalian while pulling down prices in Singapore.

Iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.9% at 829 yuan ($123.38) a tonne by 0318 GMT. It jumped 3.8% on Friday when Chinese traders returned to work after the Oct. 1-8 holiday.

On the Singapore Exchange, iron ore slipped 0.8% to $120.12 a tonne.

Spot iron ore demand in China lifted prices to $125 a tonne on Friday, the highest since Sept. 15, based on SteelHome consultancy data. SH-CCN-IRNOR62

Support for iron ore was intact ahead of the China Communist Party’s plenary session later this month, where policies related to infrastructure and real estate are likely to be discussed, commodity strategists at ANZ said.

While such support may wane amid rising iron ore port stockpiles in China, strategists added that the risk of supply disruption could emerge from a looming La Niña that normally brings heavy rains in top iron ore and coking coal producer Australia.

“With China’s demand being boosted by fiscal stimulus measures in infrastructure, any bigger than normal disruption would likely see a spike in iron ore prices,” they said in a note.

In the meantime, iron ore shipments from Australia and Brazil continue and have even increased in recent weeks, causing China's port inventory to pile up. As of Oct. 10, shipments stood at 123.6 million tonnes, the highest since March 20, SteelHome data showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV

Steel futures also rose, with construction material rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange up 0.7%, while hot-rolled coil rose 1.3% and stainless steel gained 0.5%.

Other steelmaking ingredients also edged higher, with Dalian coking coal up 1.4% while coke advanced 1.1%.

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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