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Dalian iron ore set for quarterly gain on renewed supply issues

* Chinese iron ore benchmark rises for third day, up 16% in Q3

* Vale plant suspension, coronavirus at Port Hedland in focus

MANILA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures rose on Wednesday, setting the Dalian benchmark for a fourth consecutive quarterly gain, as the coronavirus outbreak on a bulk carrier at Australia’s Port Hedland reinforced concerns about supply disruptions.

Iron ore for January 2021 delivery on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 3.6% to 798 yuan ($117.11) a tonne in early trade. The contract is poised to end the quarter with a gain of about 16%.

Iron ore on the Singapore Exchange jumped by up to 2% to $119.10 a tonne.

Renewed supply issues have driven iron ore prices higher, according to analysts at ANZ, with miner Vale S.A. suspending operations at its Viga concentration plant in Brazil, which will reduce its output by 11,000 tonnes a day.

Meanwhile, a cargo ship at Port Hedland was stranded after 17 of 21 crew tested positive for the coronavirus, delaying shipments from the port, they said in a note. Australian soldiers had been deployed to Port Hedland to help contain the outbreak on the ship that last changed crews in Manila.

However, trading in both futures and physical ferrous markets has turned subdued ahead of China’s Oct. 1-8 National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.

Spot iron ore for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 was steady at $118.50 a tonne on Tuesday, according to SteelHome consultancy.

The benchmark 62% iron ore grade has risen 27% this year, but prospects for further gains are clouded.

“Strong iron ore imports are showing up in higher port inventories. This trend is likely to continue, with shipping data suggesting stronger iron ore exports from Brazil in the near term,” ANZ analysts said.

Construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1% while hot-rolled coil gained 1.2%. Stainless steel slipped 0.7%.

Coking coal rose 0.5% and coke jumped 2.5%. (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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