Iron ore price set for worst month since October on demand concerns

Hot steel on conveyor in steel mill. Stock image.

Iron ore futures in Singapore were on track for the largest monthly decline since October as demand uncertainties flare, while a top global steelmaker warned conditions will remain tough for the rest of the year.

The steel-making staple has lost almost 17% in April and briefly dipped below $100 a ton earlier this week. China’s weaker-than-expected peak construction season, which runs from April through June, has taken a heavy toll on prices after a bullish start to 2023.

Read More: China’s property pain deflates ‘overhyped’ iron ore market

On Thursday, a China Baowu Steel Group unit said the domestic and global environment for steelmakers remains “severe” and Chinese demand will continue to slow this year. It sounded the alarm after the China Iron & Steel Association said steel firms should curb loss-making output after a period of disappointing demand and falling prices.

Inventory levels at major Chinese mills rose in mid-April compared with early April, while daily production slipped.

Meanwhile, the world’s No. 2 iron ore miner Vale SA said it sees demand growth slightly ahead of supply, adding that its clients are in a “wait-and-see mode” when it comes to China’s property market.

Iron ore was steady at $103.80 a ton as of 3:22 p.m. in Singapore, and the monthly loss was close to October’s 17.7% decline. Futures in Dalian were little changed, while steel futures slipped in Shanghai.

(By Annie Lee)


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