Monday, April 22, 2024

Iron ore price weakens amid waning China stimulus hopes, high portside stocks

Iron ore weakens amid waning China stimulus hopes, high portside stocks 

Iron ore futures prices ticked lower on Monday, weighed down by diminishing hopes of more stimulus in top consumer China, high portside stocks, and risks of possible government intervention after a price rally last week.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 0.06% lower at 866.5 yuan ($119.63) a metric ton, following a rise of more than 5% last week.

The benchmark May iron ore on the Singapore Exchange was 0.34% lower at $116.05 a ton, as of 0705 GMT.

Iron ore prices will likely consolidate in the near term as uncertainty lingers on how much hot metal output can rise further, analysts at Everbright Futures said in a note.

“The main driving force behind a price rebound last week was the macroeconomic factor and marginally improved fundamentals,” they said, referring to improved steel margins and market confidence and continuous destocking of steel products, among others.

China left benchmark lending rates unchanged at a monthly fixing, in line with market expectations, as better-than-expected first-quarter economic data removed the urgency for Beijing to unveil fresh monetary stimulus to aid the economic recovery.

Iron ore stocks at major ports surveyed climbed by 0.5% week-on-week to 145.59 million tons as of April 19, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

Read More: Column: China’s strong iron ore imports diverge from weak steel output

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE also retreated, with coking coal and coke down 0.86% and 0.73%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly lower. Rebar dipped 0.22%, hot-rolled coil shed 0.65%, wire rod fell 0.83%, and stainless steel edged down 0.21%.

Analysts at Guotai Junan Securities expect China’s crude steel output in 2024 to be lower than the 2023 level and steel consumption to fall further, dragged down further by the struggling property sector.

($1 = 7.2431 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Amy Lv and Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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