ASIA IRON ORE: Spot prices strengthen as buying need intensifies
Singapore (Platts)--31Jan2013/638 am EST/1138 GMT
Seaborne iron ore prices improved for a second straight day as buyers
coveted more spot cargoes, and trades concluded at higher levels.
Platts assessed the 62%-Fe Iron Ore Index $2/dry mt higher at $153/dmt
CFR North China.
Demand for spot iron ore was still being supported by end-users who
either need to procure to replenish insufficient stock levels or who are
buying in anticipation of a stronger market to come.
"Bigger mills aren't really lacking iron ore, but there are many smaller
ones who still need to purchase for the Chinese New Year holidays," a
Guangzhou-based trader said.
A Shanghai-based trader said there are many buy-side participants who
feel that the iron ore market will strengthen even more after the holiday
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"These buyers are trying to take cargoes now while prices are
comparatively lower and hold on to them," the trader said. "We see both mills
and traders doing this."
Expectations of better steel performance after the holidays also
produced more positive sentiment in the market.
"A lot of people are expecting a strong pick-up in steel after Chinese
New Year," a Singapore-based trader said.
In the meantime, rebar futures gained very marginal ground as the most
active May contract traded Yuan 13/mt higher on the day at Yuan 4,127/mt
($657/mt), and settled at Yuan 4,114/mt, up Yuan 5/mt from Wednesday.
Physical steel prices inched higher as spot square billet in Tangshan,
Hebei was up Yuan 10/mt from Wednesday to Yuan 3,290/mt ($524/mt) ex-stock, a
mill source in the region said.
SPOT CARGOES TRADE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER
Australian miner Rio Tinto sold a cargo of 61%-Fe Australian Pilbara
Blend fines on CBMX at $153/dmt CFR China to Singapore-based trading house
Prosperity Steel United, according to trade sources. The 165,000 mt shipment
will load February 14-23.
Sources at PSU could not be reached for comment.
Earlier in the day, PSU was also heard to have bought a PB fines cargo
at a lower price of $151/dmt CFR China on the CBMX platform, according to
traders with access to the platform. The 165,000 mt shipment will load
Brazilian miner Vale sold at $161.61/dmt CFR China 64.48%-Fe Iron Ore
Carajas fines (IOCJ) Thursday, its third IOCJ spot cargo this year. The
177,250 mt shipment will pass Singapore March 3, and contains 1.37% alumina,
3.43% silica, 0.042% phosphorus, 0.32% manganese, 2.1% loss on ignition and
The miner last sold 64.7%-Fe IOCJ at $152.23/dmt CFR China January 21 to
an unknown buyer. That 160,000 mt shipment loaded January 27 from Brazil.
Another Brazilian miner Companhia Siderurgica Nacional offered two
cargoes, each 150,000 mt, of concentrate via a spot tender Thursday,
according to trade sources.
The first was a 62/61%-Fe Concentrate Sinter Feed shipment that
contained 1.5% alumina and 7% silica. The second was a 63.5/62.5%-Fe
Concentrate Sinter Feed parcel that contained 1.5% alumina and 6% silica.
Both cargoes will load end-February. Although the tender closed at 4.30 pm
Beijing time (0830 GMT), it was not known if the cargoes were awarded.
CSN last offered January 15 two identical cargoes of the same
specifications and volume, with the 62/61%-Fe cargo to have loaded January
1-10 and the 63.5/62.5%-Fe parcel to load January 27-February 5, both from
Itaguai. Trade details for those two cargoes could not be ascertained.
Elsewhere, Singapore-based trading firm Xinsha International sold 70,000
mt of 62.7%-Fe Australian Newman fines to Hong Kong-based trading firm Asia
Commodity Shipping Limited at $154/mt CFR Beilun, loading from February
The terms and condition for this trade were not known.
--Celestyn Wong, email@example.com
--Edited by Martin O'Rourke, firstname.lastname@example.org