Iron ore prices jumped to a seven-week high on Friday
and were set for a fourth straight weekly gain, on growing hopes of a recovery
in steel demand in China.
The optimism around the key steelmaking ingredient, however,
continued to be tempered by China’s rising stockpiles of imported iron ore
hitting 156 million tonnes last week, the highest level since July 2018.
Iron ore’s most-traded May contract on China’s Dalian Commodity
Exchange ended daytime trade 1.9% higher at 676.50 yuan ($106.21) a tonne,
after earlier touching 696.50 yuan, its strongest since October 28.
According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported
into Northern China were changing hands for $119.60 a tonne during afternoon
trading, up 2.6% compared to Thursday’s closing.
In general, commodity markets were normalizing after
seeing wild moves triggered by power shortages and shifting regulatory policies
in China, according to ANZ commodity strategists.
“For the steel market, in particular, the stabilising
construction activity in China also helped lift the overall mood. This supports
steel demand, though the backdrop remains challenging for iron ore until