June 8, 2020 / 2:43 AM / a month ago

China iron ore soars as Vale shuts down some mines on coronavirus concerns

* Iron ore futures up as much as 7.6% in early trade

* Spot 62% iron ore fell to $100.5 per tonne on Friday

* Brazilian judge orders shut down of Vale complex

BEIJING, June 8 (Reuters) - Benchmark iron ore futures in China rose more than 6% in early trade on Monday, fuelled by supply concerns as the country’s second-biggest iron ore supplier Brazil shut down a Vale complex due to coronavirus concerns.

A Brazilian judge ordered the closure of a series of mines operated by Vale SA in Itabira after 188 workers tested positive for the coronavirus, putting more than 10% of the firm’s iron ore output offline.

The most-traded September contract of iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange soared as much as 7.6% to 798 yuan ($112.60) per tonne. It was up 6.4% to 790 yuan as of 0215 GMT.

Vale had reaffirmed its iron ore output guidance and said it is keeping its monthly production forecast at Itabira at 2.7 million tonnes for coming months.

But if the closure is sustained, iron ore supply disruptions could be larger than last year after the tailings dam disaster, said Wu Shiping, an analyst at Tianfeng Futures.

“...we are also not seeing any signs of weak demand for now despite the rainy season is coming,” Wu added.

The most active construction rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, jumped 1.2% to 3,645 yuan per tonne.

Hot-rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, rose 1.7% to 3,560 yuan per tonne.


* Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China fell by $1.5 to $100.5 per tonne on Friday.

* Dalian coking coal gained 1.8% to 1,187 yuan a tonne and coke edged up 0.9% to 1,977 yuan.

* Shanghai stainless steel, for June delivery, increased 0.6% to 12,990 yuan a tonne.

$1 = 7.0869 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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