Iron ore slumps to 2-week low

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    China ’s iron ore futures dipped on Wednesday, as steel mills were likely to reduce output while nursing losses from a combination of high production costs and weak demand.

    Shrinking steel profit margins in the world’s top producer of the construction and manufacturing material are likely to force mills to put their facilities under maintenance to reduce output, analysts said.

    The most-active May iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 2.7 percent to 1,015.50 yuan ($157.15) a ton, its lowest since Jan. 12.

    Spot iron ore in China traded at $167.50 a ton on Tuesday, the weakest since Jan. 4, according to SteelHome consultancy.

    Iron ore’s February contract on the Singapore Exchange dropped 1.2 percent to $160.15 a ton.

    Dalian coking coal slumped as much as 4.1 percent to 1,551.50 yuan a ton, the weakest since Dec. 17, while coke lost 2.7 percent to 2,614 yuan a ton, the lowest since Dec. 18.