Iron ore slides as prospects of softening demand, Biden’s new China tariff weigh

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Iron ore prices extended declines into a second straight session on Wednesday, dragged down by expectations of seasonally falling demand in top consumer China and U.S. tariff hikes on some Chinese products.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) DCIOcv1 ended daytime trade 1.55% lower at 858 yuan ($118.78) a metric ton.

The benchmark June iron ore contract SZZFM4 on the Singapore Exchange was 1.13% lower at $113.85 a ton, as of 0809 GMT, its lowest level since April 24.

The decline is partially because the macro sentiment was affected after finding that the usage of the latestbond issuance is not directly related to the ferrous market, analysts at Shengda Futures said in a note.

Both iron ore and steel recorded gains on Monday after sentiment was boosted by China’s finance ministry unveiling plans to issue 1 trillion yuan of long-term special government bonds.

The anticipation of seasonally lower demand is also weighing on the prices of the key steemaking ingredient.

“Hot metal output may likely hit a ceiling in the coming one to two weeks, deterring traders’ interest in stockpiling (iron ore) … the high portside ore stocks remained a drag,” analysts at Galaxy Futures said in a note.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled steep tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports, with tariffs on certain steel and aluminiumproducts more than tripled to 25% in 2024.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE eased further, with coking coal DJMcv1 and coke DCJcv1 down 1.25% and 1.26%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were lower. Rebar SRBcv1 lost 0.77%, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 shed 0.4%, wire rod SWRcv1 retreated 0.67% and stainless steel SHSScv1 fell 0.88%.

“Steel demand has showed signs of softening entering May and destocking of steel products also slowed down,” analysts at Everbright Futures said in a note.

Source: Reuters