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UPDATE 1-Dalian iron ore hits 4-week high as shipments from big miners drop

* Iron ore futures close up 1.2%

* Spot 62% iron ore rose to $84.5 per tonne on Monday

* Iron ore imports dip in March, but demand seen resilient (Adds details and analyst comment; updates with closing prices)

BEIJING, April 14 (Reuters) - Benchmark iron ore futures in China closed at a four-week high on Tuesday, as lower shipments from big miners in Australia and Brazil stoked concerns over the steelmaking ingredient’s supply amid resilient demand in the country.

Iron ore shipments from Australia and Brazil fell by 3.17 million tonnes last week to 19.81 million tonnes, data compiled by Mysteel consultancy showed.

Fresh data released by China’s customs administration showed its iron ore imports in the first quarter rose 1.3% to 262.7 million tonnes.

“Stronger steel production and limited supply disruptions in Australia and Brazil have kept the iron ore imports at elevated levels,” ANZ Research wrote in a note.

The most traded September contract iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended up 1.2% at 607 yuan ($86.23) a tonne, its highest level since March 18. It was up 1.7% earlier during the day.

Construction rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange , for October delivery, edged down 0.1% to 3,384 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coil fell 0.4% to 3,200 yuan per tonne.

China’s steel products exports rose 2.4% in March compared with a year earlier, but saw its total shipments dropped 16% in the first quarter hurt by sluggish overseas demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Other steelmaking ingredients were mixed, with Dalian coking coal inching up 0.1% to 1,131 yuan per tonne, while Dalian coke falling 0.2% to 1,731 yuan per tonne.

* June contract of stainless steel futures rose 1.8% to 12,805 yuan per tonne.

* Spot prices for iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China rose by $0.2 to $84.5 a tonne on Monday.

* More than 1.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 115,242 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* The plunge in China’s exports and imports eased in March as factories resumed production, but shipments are set to shrink sharply over coming months as the coronavirus crisis shuts down many economies and puts the brakes on a near-term recovery.

* The European Commission has imposed excessive provisional anti-dumping duties on some Chinese stainless steel products, China’s steel industry association said on Monday.

$1 = 7.0394 Chinese yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi Aich

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