Iron ore surges as fears ease

Seaborne iron ore prices jumped to new highs on Monday as feared production restrictions were not announced. Scrap prices meanwhile have remained steady and markets for both steel and raw materials remain supported by strong demand.

The Kallanish KORE 62% Fe index gained $3.53/t to $178.15/dry metric tonne cfr Qingdao, a new record high. The KORE 65% Fe index leapt $7.07/t higher to $213.66/dmt cfr, and the KORE 58% Fe index increased $4.60/t to $156.07/dmt cfr. 170,000t of PB fines sold at $177.55/t with a laycan in 10-19 May, while 70,000t of Carajas fines, shipped on 12 April, sold at $216.3/t. 80,000t of Newman Lump also sold at a floating price.

On the Dalian Commodity Exchange September iron ore settled up CNY 10.5/t at CNY 1,062/t ($163.21/t), while on the Singapore Exchange May 62% Fe futures settled up $4.09/t at $176.32/t. The same contract for 65% Fe and 58% Fe futures meanwhile settled up $4.09/t at $211.04/t, and up $0.32/t at $154.51/t respectively.

Iron ore prices have been supported by the fact that production restrictions have not spread as feared. Lat week, traders had expected restrictions to be announced in Handan’s Wu’an but these did not materialise. Blast furnace output is in fact expected to increase as mills are completing maintenance periods.

In Tangshan, billet prices dropped CNY 20/t to CNY 4,940/t on Monday, after remaining flat over the weekend. Chinese scrap prices meanwhile have remained steady. 6mm+ heavy scrap delivered to mills in the Yangtze River Delta was assessed unchanged from Friday at CNY 3,455/t.

Tomas Gutierrez UK