Chinese iron ore futures rebounded on Tuesday and were on course for their second-biggest daily gain this year, with traders saying some steel mills made a surprising return to the market, sensing that ore prices might be near the bottom.
Some mills had started restocking even though trading is normally quiet ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in mid-February. Some expect iron ore could find support at $60 after losing nearly half its value in 2014.
Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.41) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.41) per dry metric ton. After hitting a 30-day low of CNY 2,570 ($411.23) per metric ton on Thursday, January 29, the price of Chinese HRC rose 1.6% on Monday. Chinese slab gained 1.3% to finish at CNY 2,390 ($382.43) per metric ton.
The cash price of steel billet remained essentially flat at $500.00 per metric ton on the LME. The steel billet 3-month price continues hovering around $480.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row.
The spot price of the US HRC futures contract reached a 30-day low after decreasing 4.7% to $550.00 per short ton. Just off of a 30-day low of $560.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price rose 1.8% on Monday.