April 11, 2018 / 3:04 AM / 16 days ago

Dalian iron ore extends gains on restocking demand

* Pickup in China’s steel demand in downstream markets -CBA

* Spot iron ore back above $65/tonne, highest in a week

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, April 11 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures in China rose for a second session to hit a one-week high on Wednesday as buyers replenished their stockpiles of the steelmaking raw material amid signs of a pickup in steel demand.

Steel demand from China’s construction sector, among its biggest consumers, usually gains steam during spring or in April and May as activity increases.

The most-traded September iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.8 percent at 454 yuan ($72) a tonne by 0252 GMT, after initially hitting 461 yuan, its highest since April 2.

Prices were spurred higher by “restocking demand as China’s steel demand in downstream markets picked up,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

Firmer futures had inspired a similar recovery in spot iron ore prices, pushing up bids in the physical market, traders said.

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB jumped 2.1 percent to $65.30 a tonne on Tuesday, also the strongest level in a week, according to Metal Bulletin. It was the biggest daily percentage spike for the spot benchmark since March 29.

While seasonal steel demand should underpin raw material prices, “there will be more short-term volatility” in spot rates amid swings in futures, said a Shanghai-based trader.

Iron ore, along with other commodity futures and risky assets, got a boost on Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to open China’s economy further and lower import tariffs, helping calm worries over trade tensions between China and the United States.

The most-active October rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.1 percent to 3,423 yuan a tonne. ($1 = 6.2846 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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