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Iron ore snaps three-day slump as pace of China port inventory growth slows

* Dalian iron ore up 1.8%, recovers from over six-week low

* SGX iron ore also rebounds, but down 4.5% this week

* China iron ore port stocks up marginally w/w - Mysteel

MANILA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures snapped three sessions of losses on Friday after industry data showed that the pace of portside inventory rise of the steelmaking ingredient in China slowed this week, while benchmark contracts were set for weekly losses.

The most-traded January 2021 contract of iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended the morning session up 1.8% at 805 yuan ($119.16) a tonne. It has fallen 2.8% so far this week.

Iron ore’s front-month October contract on the Singapore Exchange rose 2% to $120.09 a tonne by 0455 GMT, but was on track for a weekly slide of 4.5%.

Imported iron ore inventories at China’s 45 major ports remained largely stable at 114.9 million tonnes as of Thursday, up marginally by 363,600 tonnes or 0.3% from last week, according to metals data provider Mysteel’s weekly survey.

“Higher daily discharge volume (at ports) offset the growing unloading volume with the ease in (vessel) congestion,” the consultancy reported.

Iron ore prices in China, which accounts for more than half of the world’s steel output, hit multi-week lows this week, as Chinese’ port stockpiles have risen around 10% since June when they hit the lowest levels in more than three years.

Benchmark 62% iron ore's spot price stood at $123 a tonne on Thursday, SteelHome consultancy data showed, their lowest since Aug. 27. SH-CCN-IRNOR62

While prices look set to remain under pressure as top exporters Australia and Brazil continued to ramp up shipments, restocking demand ahead of China’s week-long National Day holidays in October may lend some support, analysts said.

Steel futures also rebounded on Friday, with construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange up 0.8%, while hot-rolled coil rose 1.1% and stainless steel gained 0.5%.

Dalian coking coal climbed 1.8% while coke advanced 2.4%.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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