Iron ore price down as China warns of more market supervision

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The iron ore price fell on Monday after its longest streak of weekly gains since January, hit by Beijing’s latest warnings about increased market supervision as its seeks to curb price rises.

According to Fastmarkets, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China fell 0.94%, to $133.48 per ton.

China’s state planner said on Monday that it had conducted a survey on the price indices of several commodities, including steel, iron ore and lithium, to maintain a healthy market.

The decision by the pricing monitoring centre of the Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) aims to deepen its understanding of how prices are compiled, data are collected as well as how the price release system at multiple agencies works, it said in a statement.

The move came after the NDRC issued two warnings on reinforcing the supervision on the iron ore market in the past week to curb a price rally.

Prices have gained around 30% since August on optimism for more property-sector stimulus.

Market watchers remain hopeful China’s 1 trillion yuan ($140 billion) debt issuance announced last month will provide more affordable housing and lift steel markets.

“Since the valuation of both steel and raw materials has entered an absolute high range, the continuing upward movement in the fourth quarter requires more powerful policy pivots,” wrote Jiang Mengtian, an analyst at China-based independent researcher Horizon Insights.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)