Bloomberg News

Iron Ore Falls Most in Seven Weeks as Storm Spares Australia

March 05, 2013

Iron ore fell the most in seven weeks as cargoes increased after a storm caused little damage in Australia, the largest supplier of the steelmaking commodity.

Imported ore with 62 percent iron content at the Chinese port of Tianjin slid 2.4 percent to $145.20 a dry metric ton today, the biggest decline since Jan. 16, according to The Steel Index Ltd. The global benchmark retreated 8.6 percent from a 16- month high on Feb. 20 after rallying as much as 83 percent from an almost-three-year low in September.

Australia’s Port Hedland, home to the world’s biggest bulk export terminal, escaped with minor damage from Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty last week. Steelmakers in China, the largest importer of iron ore, are drawing on stockpiles rather than buying new supplies, according to Ben Goggin, a swaps broker at ICAP Plc in London.

“There are more cargoes out of Australia now that the storm passed,” Goggin said by e-mail. “Buyers don’t seem interested, as they are trading port stocks instead. The swaps aren’t responding today because they fell so much yesterday, so it was priced in.”

April contracts rose 1.1 percent to $137 a ton as of 12:10 p.m. in London, according to GFI Group Inc. The swaps fell 4.8 percent yesterday, according to data from SGX AsiaClear.

Stockpiles at 25 Chinese ports dropped 0.9 percent to 76.9 million tons from the end of the Feb. 26-March 1 period, Xinhua News Agency cited one of its price reports as saying today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isaac Arnsdorf in London at iarnsdorf@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net


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