Spot iron ore remains above $170/ton

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    Asian benchmark iron ore futures fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday to their lowest levels in two weeks, as anti-pollution restrictions in China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan pressured prices.

    Tangshan in the smog-prone northern Chinese province of Hebei, which accounts for a quarter of steel output in the world’s top producer of the manufacturing and construction material, issues pollution alerts from time to time restricting mills’ operations.

    While physical steel prices in China have rebounded after last month’s Lunar New Year holidays, boosting demand for key raw material iron ore, “operating restrictions in Tangshan placed downward pressure at least sentimentally for the time being,” said Richard Lu, a senior analyst at CRU consultancy in Beijing.

    The most-active May iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 4 percent to 1,100 yuan ($168.43) a ton, the weakest since Feb. 24. – Reuters