July 11, 2019 / 2:38 AM / 13 days ago

China iron ore futures little changed on lacklustre demand

MANILA, July 11 (Reuters) - Dalian iron ore futures held largely steady in early trade on Thursday, amid waning demand for the steelmaking raw material and indications of increased shipments from Brazil, which could help ease tight supplies at China’s ports.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 0.1% at 876 yuan ($127.51) a tonne as of 0204 GMT.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China, SH-CCN-IRNOR62 was up 1.7% to $119.50 a tonne on Wednesday, edging closer to the more than five-year high of $126.50 hit on July 3, data compiled by SteelHome consultancy showed.

* Driven by demand for capesize vessels shipping iron ore, the Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to its highest in more than five and a half years on Wednesday.

* A restart of iron ore miner Vale SA’s Brucutu mine in Brazil, which was shut in early February after a tailings dam burst killing more than 240 people, has prompted increased demand for vessels from the country.

* Imported iron ore stocked at Chinese ports has fallen 18% this year in the wake of the Vale mine shutdowns due to safety checks following the dam disaster, and weather-related disruptions in supply from Australia. SH-TOT-IRONINV

* Other steelmaking inputs were also little changed, with Dalian coking coal down 0.2% at 1,378.50 yuan a tonne and coke slipping 0.1% at 2,090 yuan.

* Steel futures edged lower, with the most-active October construction steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange down 0.8% at 3,994 yuan a tonne. Hot-rolled coil futures slipped 0.6% to 3,868 yuan.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks rose and the dollar sagged on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reinforced prospects of a U.S. interest rate cut later this month.

($1 = 6.8703 yuan)

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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