March 26, 2019 / 2:44 AM / 25 days ago

Dalian iron ore edges higher as Vale delays Brucutu resumption

* Vale said to delay restart of its major iron ore mine

* Cyclones affect operations at Australian miners

* Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports continue to pick up

BEIJING, March 26 (Reuters) - Prices of Dalian iron ore rose on Tuesday on concerns about tight supply of the steel-making ingredient after a Brazilina court ordered several tailing dams owned by Vale SA to halt operations.

Operations at some 13 dams will be paralysed, and as a result, productions at Vale’s major Brucutu mines, with annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of iron ore, will take longer than expected to come back on line.

The Brazilian miner did not give a specific timeline of the restart of Brucutu.

“The ongoing supply issues in Brazil...combined with weather-related supply disruptions in Australia and some early signs of life in Chinese steel markets should be a positive for iron ore,” said analysts from Jefferies in a note.

Miners in Australia said their iron ore mining, rail and port operations had been impacted after two cyclones hit the country.

The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange edged up 0.3 percent to 616 yuan ($91.85) a tonne as of 0213 GMT.

Inventory of the steel-making raw materials, however, continued to pile up last week as of March 22 to 148.6 million tonnes, according to data tracked by SteelHome, as steel mills have not fully resumed their operations from production restrictions.

Meanwhile, steel prices continued to fall amid persistent concerns over global economic slowdown and the uncertain trade talks between Beijing and Washington scheduled later this week.

The benchmark Shanghai construction steel rebar contract fell 0.6 percent to 3,707 yuan a tonne, while hot-rolled coil futures lost 0.5 percent to 3,666 yuan.

Coking coal and coke also slid, down 1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

$1 = 6.7068 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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