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UPDATE 1-Iron ore rebounds as China port stockpile growth slows

* Dalian iron ore marks worst week since late February

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

* China iron ore port stocks up marginally w/w - Mysteel (Updates prices, adds graphics)

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

The most-traded January 2021 contract of iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 1.6% higher at 803 yuan ($118.90) a tonne. However, it fell 3.6% from last week, the sharpest weekly drop in nearly seven months.

Iron ore on the Singapore Exchange rose 2.5% to $120.66 a tonne by 0718 GMT, but was on track for a weekly slide of 4.5%.

Imported iron ore stockpiles 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 level in more than three years.

The pullback in iron ore prices this week also followed a drop in steel output in China, as higher raw material costs squeezed margins.

The average daily output of China Iron & Steel Association’s member-mills declined 1.1% to 2.14 million tonnes over Sept. 1-10 from the last 11 days of August, Mysteel said.

However, restocking demand ahead of China’s week-long National Day holidays in October may lend some support to iron ore prices, analysts said.

Other ferrous futures also rebounded on Friday, with Shanghai rebar and stainless steel both up 0.6%, while hot-rolled coil rose 1%.

Coking coal climbed 1.6% and coke advanced 2.5%.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu

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