Spot iron ore slipped to near its weakest level in almost six years, reflecting tepid demand for the commodity in top consumer China, where steel prices have been hit by slower consumption.
Soft sales have forced more Chinese steel mills to curb production after the Feb. 18-24 Lunar New Year break and hold
back on purchases of the steelmaking raw material, traders told Reuters.
Iron ore for immediate delivery to China’s Tianjin port dropped 0.3% to $62.80 a ton on Monday,
according to The Steel Index.
The benchmark price, down 12% this year after sliding 47% in 2014, touched $61.10 in early February, its lowest since May 2009.
Rising 1.0% to close at $515.00 per short ton, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract experienced the biggest change for Wednesday, March 4. After dropping for two days, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract flattened at $500.00.
Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($71.90) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.10) per dry metric ton. At CNY 2,530 ($403.23) per metric ton, the price of Chinese HRC was essentially unchanged. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,080 ($172.57) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.
The steel billet cash price showed little movement on Wednesday on the LME at $305.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet saw little price change on Wednesday on the LME at $305.00 per metric ton.