April 27, 2020 / 5:04 AM / a month ago

Dalian iron ore edges higher as port inventory falls

* Spot 62% iron ore steady at $84.5 per tonne

* Port stocks of seaborne iron ore fall to 117.95 mln T

BEIJING, April 27 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures recovered on Monday, gaining as much as 0.7% to 612 yuan ($86.50) a tonne in early trade, as port stocks of the steelmaking ingredient tumbled to their lowest in more than nine months.

Port inventories of seaborne iron ore across China stood at 117.95 million tonnes as of April 24, the lowest level since July 14, 2019, data tracked by SteelHome consultancy showed.

“(We are) still seeing strong iron ore demand in the coming weeks, mainly driven by strong infrastructure starts in China,” Singapore-based steel and iron data analytics company Tivlon Technologies wrote in a note.

The most active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, inched up 0.2% to 608 yuan a tonne as of 0330 GMT.

Spot prices of ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China was unchanged at $84.5 per tonne from previous session on Friday.

Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, increased 0.3% to 3,344 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coil, mainly used in cars and home appliances, gained 0.4% to 3,192 yuan a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Other steelmaking raw materials were mixed, with Dalian coking coal down 0.7% at 1,086 yuan a tonne while Dalian coke jumped 0.7% to 1,709 yuan per tonne.

* The June contract of stainless steel futures fell 0.4% to 12,935 yuan a tonne.

* Some 2.91 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 203,264 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* Profits earned by China’s industrial firms in March fell 34.9% from a year earlier to 370.66 billion yuan ($52.43 billion), the statistics bureau said on Monday.

* Fitch Ratings said it expects the coronavirus impact on China steelmakers to ease and predicted market fundamentals to improve in the second quarter as the economic disruptions from the outbreak wane.

* China’s local governments have received the go-ahead to issue another 1 trillion yuan ($141.37 billion) in special bonds, the financial magazine Yicai reported on Monday, citing local government sources, adding that they were urged to use up the quota by the end of May.

$1 = 7.0760 yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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