LA Private

Iron ore prices hold steady

Iron ore prices eased on Friday but still ended the week with a small gain, marking a notable uptrend for April. Friday’s close at $US116.35 a tonne reflected an increase from the $US111.04 a tonne observed the previous Friday, and a significant rise from $US98.35 on April 5.

However, portside stocks in China’s major ports continued to accumulate. The latest Mysteel survey of stocks at China’s 45 largest ports revealed a nearly 721,000-tonne increase last week, bringing the total to 145.6 million tonnes. This figure represents a more than 13% increase compared to the same period last year. Stocks have witnessed a continuous 17-week rise, with Mysteel reporting that suppliers delivered 25.3 million tonnes last week, up by 915,000 tonnes following a slight dip the previous week.

The momentum received a boost from signs of improved profits among some steel makers for yet another week, alongside gains in prices of other raw materials such as coking coal. Mysteel’s weekly survey indicated a substantial rise, with nearly 49% of the 247 blast furnace mills now reporting profits. This marks the fifth consecutive week of profit improvements, potentially explaining the resilience of iron ore prices.