China is Stockpiling Iron Ore While Prices Remain Low

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Cold-rolled steel

New figures released by the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index showed stockpiles of imported iron ore at 33 major Chinese ports surged 1.44% last week compared with a week earlier due to weak demand.

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Iron ore inventories at the 33 ports across China rose by 1.47 million tons to 103.44 million tons, one of the highest levels in the past year, the Australian Business Review reported.

The Xinhua report said a slowing economy and mounting environmental pressure was hurting the profit margin of the steel industry, softening demand for iron ore.

On Tuesday, November 11, the day’s biggest mover was the US HRC futures contract 3-month price, which saw a 0.3% increase to $632.00 per short ton. This increase comes after two straight days of stagnant prices. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw little price change yesterday at $632.00 per short ton.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.77) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.14) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained steady at CNY 2,970 ($483.57) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The steel billet cash price remained essentially flat at $465.00 per metric ton on the LME. The steel billet 3-month price held steady on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.

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