Iron-ore swaps rose for a third day on speculation demand will strengthen after the Chinese New Year holidays next week.
March contracts rose 0.8 percent to $157.75 a dry metric ton as of 11:31 a.m. in London, according to GFI Group Inc. The derivatives, used to hedge price swings and bet on Chinese growth, are up 5.3 percent this month, based on data from SGX AsiaClear, the largest clearer of the contracts.
Chinese markets are closed next week to celebrate the country’s New Year’s holiday. Some traders expect the iron-ore market to be busy afterward because inventories are low and the world’s second-largest economy is accelerating, according to Ben Goggin, a broker of iron-ore swaps at ICAP Plc in London.
“If you’re a buyer in China, then today was the day to get it done before the holidays,” Goggin said by e-mail today. “There is some expectation it is going to be strong once they are back to work.”
Ore with 62 percent content at the port of Tianjin, a global benchmark, was unchanged today at $155.10 a ton, according to The Steel Index Ltd. Stockpiles fell 5.2 percent this year to 66.9 million tons, the lowest in three years, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. January imports rose to 65.5 million tons, 10 percent higher than a year earlier and 5.5 percent above last year’s average, customs data showed today.
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