Iron Ore Edges Higher Despite Weaker China Data

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Global iron ore prices shook off less than inspiring trade and production data from China for the month of October to notch up a solid gain last week.

In fact, prices jumped more than 6% as solid demand for Chinese steel products helped support the recovery in prices from nine-month laws.

The price for 62% Fe fines delivered to northern China ended the week at $US85.04 a tonne, up $US1.62 from Thursday and nearly $US5 a tonne from the Friday before when the MB fastmarkets closing price was $US80.11 a tonne.

Friday’s close was actually 8% above those 9-month lows hit on Monday just under $US79 a tonne.

The rebound in prices last week had no impact on the share prices of BHP (down 0.05% over the week), Rio Tinto (off 1.7%) and Fortescue (off a sharp 5.4%). The ASX 200 was up 1%.

China’s data was OK, but just a touch on the weak side. The country produced 81.52 million tonnes of crude steel in October, down from 82.77 million tonnes in September and 82.55 million tonnes in October 2018.

That was the lowest level since March. Production for the first 10 months of the year rose 7.4% to 829.22 million tonnes of steel.

Iron ore imports last month totalled 92.86 million according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

That was down 6.5% from 99.36 million tonnes in September but up 5% from 88.40 million tonnes brought in a year earlier.

For the first ten months of the year, the world’s imports totalled 877.18 million tonnes, down 2% from 891.48 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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