Chinese iron ore futures dip into regulator’s price watch plan

BEIJING (Reuters) – Benchmark iron ore futures in China fell for a second straight session on Tuesday, reducing their gains so far in 2021 to 31% from more than 50% earlier, as Beijing’s plans to step up the inspection of commodity prices have shaken sentiment.

Piles of imported iron ore are seen at a port in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China on May 9, 2019. Photo taken on May 9, 2019. REUTERS / Stringer / Files

The most traded iron ore contract on the Dalian Stock Exchange, for delivery in September, fell 5.2% to 1,110 yuan ($ 171.75) per tonne, its lowest level in two weeks. It closed 2.7% lower at 1,139 yuan per tonne.

“Following recent macroeconomic policies… speculation has started to calm down and iron ore prices have fluctuated,” Huatai Futures analysts wrote in a note.

The state planner and Chinese market regulator examined the spot market at the Beijing Iron Ore Mall on Monday and said it would closely monitor prices and investigate malicious speculation.

Spot prices for iron ore containing 62% iron for delivery to China, compiled by consultancy SteelHome, fell from $ 7 to $ 210.5 per tonne on Monday.

Meanwhile, the lean season for steel products and capacity controls at factories have also weakened demand for steel ingredients, Huatai Futures said.

Construction rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for delivery in October, fell 2.1% to 4,885 yuan per tonne, the lowest closing price since May 27.

Hot-rolled coils, used in manufacturing, fell 2.4% to 5,153 yuan per ton.

Dalian coking coal ended up 0.4% at 1,969 yuan per ton.

Coke futures on the Dalian Stock Exchange rose 0.4% to 2,682 yuan per tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for July delivery, jumped 2.1% to 16,435 yuan per tonne.

($ 1 = 6.4628 Chinese renminbi yuan)

Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; edited by Uttaresh.V, Aditya Soni

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