Iron ore futures slip on easing supply woes

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    BEIJING- China’s iron ore futures fell on Thursday, retreating from a surge in the last session after supply concerns from top exporter Australia eased.

    Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, with the most traded May contract, slipped as much as 0.66 percent in morning trade to 672.5 yuan ($97.12) per ton. It settled at 680 yuan on Wednesday, the highest close since Aug.2.

    The drop came as big miner Rio Tinto clarified market talks on a fire that broke out at Cape Lambert, which stoked concerns of possible supply disruptions.

    “A rubber conveyor belt on a shiploader at Cape Lambert caught fire. It is being replaced and we expect the shiploader to be back up in the next 24 hours,” a spokesperson from Rio Tinto told Reuters.

    Supply worries further eased as data showed on Thursday that iron ore shipments in December to China from Australia’s Port Hedland terminal, the world’s biggest iron ore port, rose more than 12 percent compared with a month earlier.

    Other steelmaking ingredients were mixed, with Dalian coking coal gaining 0.92 percent to 1,212.5 yuan per ton, while Dalian coke slid 0.37 percent to 1,899.5 yuan per ton. – Reuters