Iron ore price jumps to over one-week high on China’s property stimulus efforts

Beijing skyline. Credit: Wikipedia

Iron ore futures extended gains on Friday to their highest in more than one week and were on track for a weekly gain, supported by resilient consumption and a brighter demand outlook in top consumer China thanks to its latest property stimulus efforts.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 2.18% higher at 891.5 yuan ($123.47) a metric ton, the highest since May 8. It has logged a gain of 2.8% week-on-week.

The benchmark June iron ore on the Singapore Exchange was 1.37% higher at $118.15 a ton, as of 0709 GMT, also the highest since May 8. It has posted a rise of 1.8% so far this week.

Near-term ore demand remained resilient with the average daily hot metal output among steelmakers surveyed climbing by 1% week-on-week to 2.37 million tons as of May 17, the highest since November 2023, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

Bolstering sentiment is also news that China announced some of its most sweeping measures yet to stabilize the crisis-hit property sector, allowing local governments to buy “some” apartments, relaxing mortgage rules and pledging further efforts to deliver unfinished homes.

This came after a batch of data in the property sector released showed demand remained weak.

Property investment in China in the first four months of 2024 fell 9.8% from a year earlier after dropping 9.5% in the first quarter.

Also, China’s new home prices dropped at the fastest monthly pace in more than nine years in April.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE advanced further, with coking coal and coke up 2.37% and 2.96%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were higher. Rebar added 1.34%, hot-rolled coil rose 0.97%, wire rod climbed 1.16% and stainless steel gained 1.84%.

China’s crude steel output in April fell 2.6% from the previous month and dropped 7.2% from the previous year to 85.94 million tons, statistics bureau data showed, missing expectations.

Total output from January to April declined by 3% to 343.67 million tons.

($1 = 7.2204 Chinese yuan)

(By Amy Lv and Emily Chow; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Sohin Goswami)


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