Iron ore futures slip on lean demand

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    BEIJING/SHANGHAI- Benchmark iron ore futures in China slipped more than 2 percent on Monday, hurt by sluggish downstream demand and fresh environmental restrictions in a main steelmaking area.

    The most-active iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for January delivery, fell as much as 2.8 percent to 777 yuan ($114.92) per ton in early trade. It was down 2.2 percent to 782 yuan.

    “The decline was mainly due to downstream demand, which did not pick up as markets expected,” said a Beijing-based ferrous trader.

    “Real estate developers are not very motivated… It’s possible that this year has no sales peak season for property,” the trader added.

    Weighing on prices, China’s top steelmaking city Tangshan had rolled out plans to curb sintering operations at some mills due to unfavorable weather conditions, state-run China Metallurgical News reported on Sunday.