* Dalian iron ore rises for fifth day, up 6% this week
* Singapore Exchange iron ore slips after four-day rally
* China steel inventories at new 10-month low - Mysteel
MANILA, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Benchmark Dalian iron ore rose on Friday and was on track for its biggest weekly gain since early-August, as shrinking steel inventories at mills in China encouraged traders of the steelmaking raw material to push prices higher.
January iron ore, the most-active contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, climbed 1% to 881.50 yuan ($134.03) a tonne, advancing for a fifth straight day. It has risen 5.8% for the week.
Stocks of five major finished steel products, including rebar, held by 184 Chinese steel mills monitored by Mysteel shrank over Nov. 12-18 by 3.6% on week to a fresh 10-month low of around 5 million tonnes, the consultancy’s latest weekly survey showed.
“The fundamentals of finished products continued to improve this week, but the speed of rebar destocking declined compared with the previous week,” analysts at Sinosteel Futures in Beijing said in a note.
Spot iron ore for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 traded at $128 a tonne on Thursday, the highest since Sept. 15, according to SteelHome consultancy.
However, the most-traded December iron ore contract on the Singapore Exchange slipped 0.8% to $123.30 a tonne, after a four-day rally. It has gained 4.3% this week.
“What is worth noting in this week’s data is the decline in apparent demand for rebar,” Sinosteel analysts said, attributing such development to the weather that has turned cold in northern China.
Construction activity in China, the world’s top steel producer and consumer, is expected to slow as the weather turns colder in the coming weeks.
Chinese steel futures also scaled contract highs this week, with rebar up as much as 0.8% in morning trade on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, but hot-rolled coil edged down 0.5% after five days of gains.
Stainless steel jumped 1.6%.
Both Dalian coking coal and coke were flat.
Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; editing by Uttaresh.V
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