Iron ore prices fell about 3% on Friday, as the
market is on the lookout for Chinese government policy towards steel output
“It will be interesting to see if China will ease its
steel curtailment policy after the Winter Olympics,” CreditSights said in a
“While that seems unlikely given the country’s
longer-term decarbonization targets, it remains to be seen how strictly the
local steelmakers will follow the policy given the lucrative margins across all
major steel products.”
“Our view for iron ore price remains unchanged for
2022, at an average $100 tonne – lower than in 2021, but still at historically
elevated levels. Producers face lower steel output in China amid environmental
controls, weakening property construction market and energy pressures in
manufacturing,” Moody’s said in a note.
Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity
Exchange slipped 2.3% to 722 yuan per tonne, while spot iron ore inched up $0.5
to $132.5 on Thursday, according to SteelHome consultancy.
According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines
imported into Northern China were changing hands for $128.01 a tonne during
morning trading, down 1.4% compared to Monday’s closing.
China’s December iron ore imports slumped 18% month-on-month to 86.07 million tonnes, sending
its annual purchase to 1.12 billion tonnes in 2021, down from the record high a
year earlier, customs data showed.
($1 = 6.3594 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(With files from Reuters)