Iron ore price jumps as Chinese inventory drops to the lowest since February

Vale’s Ponta da Madeira terminal in in São Luís, Brazil. (Image courtesy of Vale SA).

Iron-ore rose on Wednesday as worries mount over supply boosted prices.

Benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China (CFR Qingdao) were up 1.4%, changing hands for $212.67 a tonne on Wednesday afternoon, according to Fastmarkets MB.

The most-traded September iron-ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trading 4% higher at 1,175 yuan ($183.78) a tonne, after earlier advancing to 1,191.50 yuan.

Iron-ore inventory at Chinese ports dropped to 127.65 million tonnes last week, the lowest since February 5, while shipment arrivals were lower than the prior-week and year-ago volumes, according to metals data provider SMM.

Shipments from Rio Tinto were seen declining, while Vale has interrupted production at its Timbopeba mine and part of its Alegria mine after prosecutors ordered the evacuation of an area around the nearby Xingu dam, in the state of Minas Gerais.

The closures reduce its output by 40,000 tonnes of iron ore a day.

“We should start seeing the impact of this week’s stoppage in next week’s export numbers,” RBC Capital Markets mining analyst Kaan Peker said in a note.

“We anticipate marginal weaker (month-on-month) imports from Brazil and Australia,” Peker said, noting that Indian volumes had been impacted by wet weather.

A source at Ponta da Madeira – Vale’s main port in Maranhão state – told MINING.COM that shipment of high-grade Carajas ore could be around 15 million tonnes in June, lower than the 17 million tonnes expected.

One of the company’s 5 piers was hit by a fire in January and still can’t operate with the ultra-large Valemax ships.

On the demand side, some analysts said the outlook for Chinese steel products remained bright despite subdued May trade data, citing a solid global economic recovery that will likely boost Chinese exports.

(With files from Reuters)

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *