Iron ore price climbs to 3-month high on prospects of improved property demand

Aerial view of landscape in shenzhen, China. Stock image.

Iron ore futures rose to their highest level in three months on Monday, as traders welcomed China’s latest support measures for its crisis-hit real estate sector that accounts for a large volume of iron ore.

The most-traded September iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) closed 1.1% higher at 894.50 yuan ($123.72) per metric ton.

Earlier in the session, the contract rose as much as 2.4% to 906 yuan, the highest since Feb. 20.

China announced “historic” steps on Friday to stabilize its property sector, with the central bank facilitating 1 trillion yuan in extra funding and easing mortgage rules, and local governments set to buy “some” apartments.

Iron ore and steel are heavily used in the construction sector and China is the world’s biggest consumer of the commodities.

The benchmark June iron ore on the Singapore Exchange was 1.4% higher at $119 a ton, as of 0702 GMT.

Gains in other metals such as copper and gold, with both climbing to record highs on Monday, also boosted trading sentiment in the ferrous complex, said a trader.

“Ferrous opened strong today due to pulling effect from other metals, and also very positive real estate support announced last Thursday and Friday,” the trader said.

However, with Chinese steel mills margin remaining in negative territory, prices of raw materials are likely to fall soon when mills start pushing back against their suppliers, the trader added.

Crude steel output in China in the first four months of 2024 fell 3% year-on-year, and an analyst expected this year’s annual output will not surpass 2023’s level.

The latest batch of China data for the property sector showed demand remained weak.

Property investment fell 9.8% year-on-year in the first four months, and new home prices in April dropped at the fastest monthly rate in more than nine years.

Other steel-making ingredients on the DCE rose on Monday, with coking coal up 1% at 1,743 yuan a ton, and coke also rising 1% to 2,278 yuan.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) were trading in green.

SHFE rebar strengthened 0.7% to 3,735 yuan a ton, hot-rolled coil grew 0.5% to 3,865 yuan, wire rod increased 1.8% to 4,006 yuan and stainless steel gained 1.4% to 14,455 yuan.

($1 = 7.2301 yuan)

(By Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Krishna Chandra Eluri)


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