Dalian iron ore snaps 5-session slide as demand firms ahead of holidays

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Dalian iron ore futures rose on Tuesday after a five-session slide, as Chinese buyers ramped up purchases ahead of public holidays later in the week.

The most-traded September iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 closed up 3.1% at 768 yuan ($106.15) per metric ton. The contract jumped as much as 4.1% earlier in the session.

Chinese markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Tomb-Sweeping Day, so all the buying is compressed into the first three days of the week, said a trader.

Hopes of potential supply curbs by Chinese steel mills amid an over-supplied market are also boosting prices in the ferrous complex, said the trader.

This supported struggling Chinese iron ore prices, which shed 20% in the first quarter – the biggest since the third quarter of 2021 – due to subdued demand as construction activities lagged in China.

“Market is happy to bite and latch onto to any bullish story… March has been really volatile… It’s practically a roller coaster and really good profit for the funds that are pushing in either direction,” said the trader.

The benchmark May iron ore SZZFK4 on the Singapore Exchange was up 0.4% at $101.70 a metric ton as of 0658 GMT.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly up.

The most-active May rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 strengthened 1.7% to 3,463 yuan a ton, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 climbed 2.6% to 3,688 yuan, wire rod SWRcv1 increased 2.2% to 3,752 yuan, and stainless steel SHSScv1 gained 1.3% to 13,455 yuan.

The trader said demand for hot-rolled coil steel, which is used in making automobiles, has been faring better than that of rebar because manufacturing activities in China have improved faster than the construction sector, which uses rebar.

Steelmaking ingredient Dalian coking coal DJMcv1 fell 0.9% to 1,443 yuan a ton, while coke DCJcv1 inched up 0.4% at 1,968.50 yuan.

Source: Reuters