Chinese mills say ‘pass’ to more iron ore

By Victoria Zhou | MySteel

Chinese trading of imported iron ore cooled down over the past week, in marked contrast to the frenzy of business over the previous week in response to the emergency production curbs on steelmakers across much of northern China. The ebbing of activity further undermined imported iron ore prices. Over March 4-8, the daily trading volume of imported iron ore inventories at major Chinese ports reversed down by 211,000 tonnes/day on week to 817,000 t/d on average. At the same time, the daily trading volume of seaborne cargoes plummeted by more than half, dropping by 167,000 t/d on week to 155,000 t/d on average.

Last Friday, Mysteel’s price index for 62% Australian fines seaborne cargoes lost more ground, dipping by $1.25/dmt on week to $85.4/dmt CFR Qingdao. In parallel, Mysteel’s port inventories price index for the 62% Australian fines, easing by Yuan 11/wmt ($1.6/wmt) on week Yuan 628/wmt FOT Qingdao and including 16% VAT.

“In Tangshan and Wu’an (in North China’s Hebei province), the emergency curbs on steel mills’ sintering operations hardened over the past week due to poor air quality,” a Shanghai-based market watcher recalled. “This largely dampened these mills’ iron ore buying interest, especially for port inventories.”

Over March 1-7, the daily discharge rate at Caofeidian and Jingtang – two ports under the jurisdiction of Tangshan city – reversed down by 85,000 t/d on week to 515,000 t/d, a low level only experienced recently during Chinese New Year over February 4-8, according to Mysteel’s latest data released on March 8…Full Story