July 10, 2019 / 2:22 AM / 5 months ago

China coke futures slip on weak demand; iron ore largely unchanged

MANILA, July 10 (Reuters) - Coke futures in China fell in early trade on Wednesday to their lowest in more than a week, pressured by weak demand as steel mills hit by a slump in profit margins sought to reduce costs, while iron ore was somewhat flat.

The most-active September coke contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped as much as 3.1% to 2,068.50 yuan ($300.52) a tonne, its lowest since July 1. Coking coal futures slipped 1.1% to 1,371 yuan.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-traded Dalian iron ore for September delivery swung between losses and gains in a narrow range, trading 0.2% lower at 881 yuan a tonne as of 0202 GMT.

* The most-active October construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 1% to 4,006 yuan a tonne. Hot rolled coil, steel used in cars and home appliances, dipped 1.3% to 3,874 yuan.

* Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China, SH-CCN-IRNOR62 was steady at $117.50 a tonne on Tuesday, near a more than five-year high of $126.50 hit on July 3, according to data tracked by SteelHome consultancy.

* Jefferies has revised its iron ore price forecasts higher, after S&P raised its price assumptions for this year and the next two for the steelmaking raw material, as it expects a prolonged hit to supply amid mine shutdowns in Brazil. [

* Jefferies sees iron ore prices at $98 a tonne in 2020, up from a previous forecast of $85; and $85 a tonne in 2021, from $75 previously.

* A Brazilian state judge on Tuesday convicted top iron ore miner Vale SA for damages caused by the deadly rupture of a tailings dam in January that killed at least 240 people.

* The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to its highest in 11 months on Tuesday, driven by higher rates for larger capesize vessels on strong demand for shipping iron ore.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares inched ahead on Wednesday while higher Treasury yields lifted the dollar as markets wondered if the world’s most powerful central banker would confirm or confound expectations for U.S. policy easing this month. ($1 = 6.8830 yuan) (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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