China iron ore futures rise on easing trade tensions, firm demand

Port of Qinqdao, China

China’s Dalian iron ore futures rose as much as 2.3% on Monday, the highest in more than ten days, fuelled by trade optimism between the world’s two largest economies, while firm demand from infrastructure and property sectors also helped.

The United States Trade Representative’s office and China’s Commerce Ministry said both sides are “close to finalising” some parts of a trade agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday, and would continue to talk.

The most-active traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January 2020 delivery, jumped as much as 2.3% to 642 yuan ($90.93) a tonne in morning trade. It edged up 0.2% to 629 yuan as of 0330 GMT.

“We are bullish on iron ore,” said Darren Toh, a data scientist with Singapore-based steel and iron data analytics company Tivlon Technologies.

“Steel inventory (is) easing and acceleration of infrastructure projects kick off,” he said, adding that an increasing property investment was also being noticed.

Fundamentals

Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China stood at $86.50 a tonne on Friday.

The most traded construction steel rebar futures contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for January delivery, increased 0.3% to 3,330 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coil, used in cars and home appliances, edged down 0.1% to 3,342 yuan.

Stainless steel, made from nickel pig iron, rose 0.1% to 14,940 yuan a tonne.

Other steelmaking ingredients mixed, with Dalian coking coal up 0.2% at 1,259 yuan a tonne while Dalian coke down 1.2% at 1,758 yuan.

Samarco, a joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Group, on Friday got permission to resume operations at their Germano iron ore mine, roughly four years after a fatal dam collapse there.

China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, the country’s top-listed steelmaker, posted the smallest quarterly profit since the second half of 2017 for the July-September period this year, reflecting market uncertainties and high raw material prices.

China’s central bank official said commercial banks should step up their application of blockchain technology to embrace digital finance.

($1 = 7.0605 Chinese yuan)

(By Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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