Iron ore prices hold steady

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Iron ore prices eased on Friday but still ended the week with a small gain, marking a notable uptrend for April. Friday’s close at $US116.35 a tonne reflected an increase from the $US111.04 a tonne observed the previous Friday, and a significant rise from $US98.35 on April 5.

However, portside stocks in China’s major ports continued to accumulate. The latest Mysteel survey of stocks at China’s 45 largest ports revealed a nearly 721,000-tonne increase last week, bringing the total to 145.6 million tonnes. This figure represents a more than 13% increase compared to the same period last year. Stocks have witnessed a continuous 17-week rise, with Mysteel reporting that suppliers delivered 25.3 million tonnes last week, up by 915,000 tonnes following a slight dip the previous week.

The momentum received a boost from signs of improved profits among some steel makers for yet another week, alongside gains in prices of other raw materials such as coking coal. Mysteel's weekly survey indicated a substantial rise, with nearly 49% of the 247 blast furnace mills now reporting profits. This marks the fifth consecutive week of profit improvements, potentially explaining the resilience of iron ore prices.

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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