The DCE iron ore futures experienced a 3.17% drop on Friday, influenced by the stock market’s performance and an outflow of overseas funds. This outflow has affected investor confidence in the domestic financial market and has led to an ease in macroeconomic sentiment. The main contract closed at 839, marking a significant downturn.
Despite the drop, steel mills continue to purchase actively. PBF deals at Shandong and Tangshan ports were priced at 910 yuan/mt and 935-945 yuan/mt respectively, indicating a sustained demand for the commodity.
However, inventory levels have been on a declining trend. SMM tracking showed a decrease of 550,000 tons across 35 ports to 105.01 million tons. This marks a year-on-year decrease of 211.7 million tons and represents the sixth consecutive period of decrease.
Contributing to this trend is the reduction in molten iron production at steel plants which has led to poor profits for some finished product varieties. The daily average port clearance volume of imported mines fell by 124,000 tons this week, causing a significant decline in port dredging volume.
This continuous decrease in inventory could potentially signal a turning point that may put short-term iron ore prices under pressure. As the reduction in inventory continues, it’s likely that the market will continue to monitor these developments closely.
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