* Dalian iron ore ends down 2.7%, Singapore futures also drop
* After fire incident, Baosteel facility to resume ops on Tuesday
* China Jan-Feb iron ore imports up despite virus disruption (Updates with closing prices, chart)
By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, March 9 (Reuters) - China’s ferrous derivatives slumped on Monday, with iron ore almost hitting its downside limit early in the session, as panic over the coronavirus outbreak and plunging oil prices gripped financial markets.
Denting sentiment further were concerns over iron ore demand as China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, or Baosteel, the listed arm of the country’s biggest steel producer Baowu Steel Group, said a fire had hit one of its blast furnaces.
Baosteel, however, sought to allay fears saying the fire incident on Sunday would have limited impact on its molten iron output this year, while Baowu said the facility is expected to resume production on Tuesday.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed down 2.7% at 640 yuan ($92.13) a tonne, after sinking as much as 5.8% earlier in the session. Futures on the Singapore Exchange slid as much as 4.4% but were down 1.7% in afternoon trade.
“The global spread of the coronavirus is resulting in simultaneous supply and demand shocks. We expect these shocks to materially slow economic activity, particularly in the first half of this year,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement.
More than 110,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus across the world and 3,800 have died from it, according to a Reuters tally of government announcements.
China, where businesses are gradually reopening after easing of restrictions, reported no new locally transmitted cases outside the worst-hit Hubei province for the second straight day.
* Iron ore imports stocked at China’s ports dropped to 126.25 million tonnes, as of March 6, down 3.4% this year, based on data from SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-IRONINV
* Top steel producer China’s iron ore imports rose 1.5% over January and February from the same period a year earlier, supported by firm demand at steel mills despite business disruptions due to the epidemic.
* Amid record-high steel inventory in China, the country’s industry ministry has urged metals firms to stop ramping up production and avoid “vicious” competition with one another.
* Industry benchmark 62% iron ore’s spot price settled at $90.30 a tonne on Friday, slipping for the first time in five days, based on SteelHome data. SH-CCN-IRNOR62
* Rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange shed 0.3%, while hot-rolled coil edged down 0.1% and stainless steel lost 3.2%.
* Coking coal was virtually flat, while coke dropped 0.4%.
($1 = 6.9465 yuan)
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Uttaresh.V