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Iron ore retreats on weak Chinese industrial data

Iron ore futures prices fell on Monday after weak industrial data in top consumer China and the completion of of pre-holiday restocking by steelmakers ahead of May Day.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 0.51% down at 874.50 yuan ($120.69) a metric ton, having risen by more than 14% this month.

Benchmark May iron ore SZZFK4 on the Singapore Exchange was down 0.55% at $117.20 a ton by 0908 GMT.

China’s industrial profits fell in March and slowed gains for the quarter compared with the first two months, official data showed on Saturday, raising doubts about the strength of a recovery for the world’s second-biggest economy.

“Given that both iron ore supply and stocks hover at a relatively high level, its fundamentals are weaker coking coal with low output and stocks,” Huatai Futures analysts said.

A research note from analysts at investment bank CICC said that daily hot metal output is likely to rise above 2.3 million tons in the second quarter, adding that it won’t be enough production to digest the significant increase in portside iron ore stocks built up in the first quarter.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE registered gains, with coking coal DJMcv1 and coke DCJcv1 up 0.17% and 0.23% respectively.

Most steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were lower. Hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 dipped 0.18%, wire rod SWRcv1 edged down by 0.46% and stainless steel SHSScv1 shed 0.42%. Rebar SRBcv1, however, was up by 0.14%.

“A rapid increase in hot metal output will not do any good to the sustainability of a price rebound as the persistent destocking of steel products has already been priced in,” First Futures analysts noted.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Amy Lv and Emily Chow, Editing by David Goodman)

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