The iron ore price rose on Friday even as production at steel mills stayed sluggish amid government curbs in China.
Capacity utilisation rates of blast furnaces at 247 steel firms across the country declined for the seventh straight week and stood at 74.8% as of Friday, down from 75.2% a week earlier, according to Mysteel consultancy.
According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $102.36 a tonne, up 0.7% from Thursday’s closing.
Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, were down 3.6% to 603 yuan ($94.61), as of 0330 GMT, after declining as much as 5.5% in morning trade. For the week, however, the contract was on course for a 4.8% gain.
“Impact from changes to the supply side on steel products prices is weakening,” SinoSteel Futures wrote in a note, referring to output controls during winter.
However, with the real estate market remaining weak, steel prices are not expected to gain significantly, SinoSteel Futures said.
(With files from Reuters)