China’s Environmental Clean-up Act Will Push Iron Ore Prices Lower

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Cold-rolled steel

Rocketing iron-ore production has hammered the price of the steelmaking ingredient this year, but now there is an unexpected issue hurting the market: China’s hospitality.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s push for clear skies at a global summit in Beijing is delivering the latest knock to iron ore that has tumbled sharply this year on record output from Australia’s major miners. It is a reminder of how the world’s No. 2 economy still influences the global commodity markets, even in unexpected ways.

Steel mills and factories have been temporarily closed for the high-profile Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in an effort to clean up the pollution that frequently blots the capital.

With a decline of 0.2% to $630.00 per short ton on Thursday, November 13, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract recorded the biggest decline of the day. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $632.00 per short ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed 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 saw little movement at CNY 2,970 ($483.57) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet continues hovering around $465.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row. The steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat at $455.00 per metric ton on the LME.

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