SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): Iron ore prices continued their upward ascent during February, buoyed by gains in steel prices and better profitability at Chinese mills, reported The Steel Index.
The index for 62% Fe iron ore fines imported into China averaged more than $88 a dry metric tonne CFR Tianjin port and breached the $90/dmt threshold for the first time since August 2014.
Iron ore imports into China rose 12% year-on-year in January, China customs data showed. February was a weak month for shipments out of Australia’s Port Hedland: 35.7 million tonnes of iron ore were exported from the Pilbara terminal last month, down from 40.3 million tonnes in January.
Positive indicators abound for the Chinese economy, with the manufacturing and steel-sector specific PMI surveys pointing to improved conditions in February.
However, there are signs real estate transactions are beginning to slow as government measures aimed at cooling the sector bite in the cities.
The volume of iron ore derivatives cleared rose in February to 142.7 million tonnes, up 24% compared with January. There was also growth on the on-shore Dalian Commodities Exchange (DCE) futures contract.