Iron ore futures in Asia rebounded on Wednesday, with the Dalian benchmark contract bouncing from a 10-month low, but doubts lingered whether gains could be sustained given the collapse in China’s demand and improving supply prospects.
January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 ended daytime trading 3.7% higher at 668.50 yuan ($103.41) a tonne, reversing earlier losses that brought the most-active contract to its weakest since Nov. 26.
Chinese markets were shut on Monday and Tuesday for a public holiday.
Any respite from sell-offs is unlikely to last long as attention turns to stronger Brazilian shipments, dwarfing a fall in Australian cargoes over the previous week, Atilla Widnell, managing director at Navigate Commodities in Singapore, said.
On the Singapore Exchange, the steelmaking ingredient’s October contract SZZFV1 was up 12.9% at $105.75 a tonne by 0717 GMT.
SGX iron ore sank 8% on Monday amid concerns over risks faced by the property market in China, the world’s biggest steel producer, from the Evergrande Group’s 3333.HK debt crisis.
Spot iron ore in China tumbled to $103 a tonne last week, the lowest in 14 months, based on SteelHome consultancy data.
“There is no relief on production cut pressure, as the government is asking more provinces around Beijing to cut their steel production to improve air quality ahead of the Winter Olympics next year,” ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said.
China’s steel output curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions intensified last month, with top producer Hebei and Shandong provinces posting annual declines of more than 20%, according to industry data provider Mysteel.
Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 rose 2.9%, while hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 gained 1%. Stainless steel SHSScv1 climbed 3.7%.
Dalian coking coal DJMcv1 hit its 9% upside limit at the close, while coke DCJcv1 advanced 6.4%, still supported amid worries over supply in China.