Iron ore price falls again as Chinese stockpiles reverse downward trend

The benchmark CFR import price of 62% iron ore fines at China's Tianjin fell for the third straight session on Monday.

The 1.1% decline to $151.90 came despite news that Cyclone Rusty had closed major Western Australian ports, servicing more than half of the seaborne iron trade.

Iron ore is correcting following a rally that sent the steelmaking ingredient to 16-month highs last week.

Iron ore was also affected by a reversing of the recent trend of declining stockpiles at the China's ports. The country is responsible for consuming almost two-thirds of the globe's iron ore.

Inventories climbed 2.8% this week, the first time this year, to just shy 69 million tonnes. Stockpiles are still significantly down from highs above 100 million tonnes a year ago.

The pullback may turn out to be shortlived.

According to Bloomberg domestic Chinese iron ore prices exceeded the cost of imported cargoes by 50c – the first time this has happened in over two months – which may boost demand for Australian and Brazilian ore.

Image of Tianjin sunset by arkiben