Iron ore prices have bounced back, surging 4.5 per cent after new China trade figures. It comes after the spot price last week fell below $US60 for the first time since June. Prices regained ground at the weekend to US$60.00 a tonne, according to The Steel Index.
National Australia Bank FX strategy head Ray Attrill said the gains were driven by China trade data released last week, which showed iron ore imports rose above 100 million tonnes for the first time on record in September.
“Friday’s gain was probably more psychology-driven than anything else,” he said. According to ANZ senior economist Joanne Masters, the import data showed that China’s demand for iron ore remained strong. “Total volumes imports in the first nine months are now up 7.1 per cent year on year,” she said. “At the same time, inventories fell. “This saw a pick-up in investor appetite, with futures trading on Singapore and Dalian Exchanges surging higher.”
Deutsche Bank’s quarterly commodities report said steel production has grown for the first eight months of the year, up between 5 and 6 per cent. “Steel production in China in July and August has been stronger than the usual historical seasonal patterns,” the report said.
It said that the first and fourth quarters of the financial year are typically the weakest periods for demand and steel production but that the latest iron ore price increase “suggests there has been a degree of demand ‘bring forward’ from Q4 into Q3 in anticipation of the winter restrictions”.
“We expect the (Chinese) government’s efforts to reduce pollution and improve air quality to be a structural theme that persists for at least the next five years,” the report said.
Edit by Mr. Bruce Zhang of KRM/BSW
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