March 12, 2018 / 7:53 AM / 6 days ago

UPDATE 1-Chinese iron ore, coke futures fall again on soft demand, high steel inventories

* Iron ore down for 3rd straight session

* steel falls for seventh straight session

* Coking coal, coke slump along with steel

* Steel demand weak; rebar inventories at 5-yr high (Updates close prices)

SHANGHAI, March 12 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures extended falls on Monday and hit a nearly four-month low as steelmaking raw materials were pressured by soft demand for the metal and high product inventories held by trading companies.

Dalian iron ore futures tumbled more than 3 percent to an intraday low of 475.5 yuan ($75.12) a tonne, their lowest since Nov. 20.

Iron ore closed 2.6 percent lower at 479 yuan a tonne, down for a third straight session.

The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange also dropped for a seventh straight session, with steel demand failing to pick up as quickly as expected after the week-long Chinese New Year break in February.

Rebar was 0.8 percent lower at 3,709 yuan a tonne at close.

High inventories of steel rebar products, mainly used for construction, have prompted some traders to sell their stocks at a loss and driven down prices.

Stockpiles of rebar inventory held in warehouses by traders rose to 9.6362 million tonnes SH-TOT-RBARINV as of March 9, the highest since April 2013, Steelhome data showed.

“This all weighed on iron ore, with futures being sold heavily around Asia,” ANZ said in a research note.

“This bearish mood also weighed on coking coal prices. Premium hard coking coal fell sharply, as shrinking margins at steel mills reduced their appetite for coal. However, easing concerns about further weather-related supply issues also weighed on the market,” ANZ said.

On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, coke tumbled nearly 4 percent to a low of 1,997 yuan a tonne, the lowest in nearly one-and-a-half months. By close, coke was down 3.7 percent at 2,002 yuan.

Coking coal dived 3.9 percent to 1,266 yuan a tonne at close, after earlier hitting an intraday low of 1,265 yuan a tonne, the lowest since Jan. 23.

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB dropped $3.14 a tonne to $70.09 a tonne last Friday from the previous day, according to Metal Bulletin.

$1 = 6.3298 Chinese yuan Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Tom Hogue and Subhranshu Sahu

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