Dalian iron ore futures at nearly 3-week low on lean demand

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BEIJING — Chinese iron ore futures fell for a fourth consecutive session, down more than 5% to their lowest level in nearly three weeks, on prospects of more imports of the steelmaking ingredient and as demand eased on the government’s decision to cut production.

“The government has a relatively strong determination to control steel output this year, which could affect demand for raw materials,” Li Wentao, an analyst with Tianfeng Futures, said.

Meanwhile, China’s imports of iron ore are seen to increase this month, leaving possibilities for an oversupply, Li added.

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The most-traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, plunged as much as 5.1% to 1,141 yuan ($176.49) per tonne. They were down 4.2%, as of 0240 GMT.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China declined $4 to $217.5 a tonne on Wednesday, data from SteelHome consultancy showed.

Dalian coking coal slipped 0.6% to 2,072 yuan per tonne and coke futures dipped 0.5% to 2,722 yuan a tonne.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange tracked the drop in raw material rates.

Construction-used steel rebar, for October delivery, fell 1.3% to 5,514 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, slipped 2.2% to 5,834 yuan a tonne.

The August contract for stainless steel futures on the Shanghai bourse edged down 0.5% to 18,465 yuan a tonne.

($1 = 6.4651 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)