Chinese steel, iron ore prices fall amid plunge in broader markets

11 October 2018

China’s steel and iron ore futures dropped on Thursday in the wake of steep declines in international commodity and equity markets, while possible Chinese production curbs ahead of winter remained in focus.

Asian share markets sank on Thursday after Wall Street suffered its worst drubbing in eight months, a conflagration of wealth that could threaten business confidence and investment across the globe.

Shanghai benchmark construction steel futures had fallen 0.8 percent to 4,011 yuan ($578.83) a tonne by 0149 GMT, while hot-rolled coil futures plunged nearly 3 percent to their lowest in a month at 3,831 yuan.

The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dipped 0.4 percent to 512 yuan a tonne, although spot prices for iron ore with 62 percent content climbed to $70.9 on Wednesday.

Markets are still paying close attention to regional plans for winter cuts to industrial output, part of the government’s years-long battle against pollution.

The Yangtze River Delta region in the country’s east, which includes key manufacturing hubs, is working on a new integrated winter pollution plan similar to one in northern areas, said officials at two local environment bureaus.

“Supply is expected to reduce as more regions publish their anti-pollution action plans,” analysts at Huatai Futures said in a note.

Shanxi province, a major coal mining hub, this week vowed to cut coking capacity and annual coke output as part of its campaign against smog.

The most-traded coke contract, for January delivery , edged up 0.6 percent to 2,461 yuan a tonne.

Coking coal futures gained 1.1 percent to 1,370 yuan a tonne.