SMM statistics showed that the iron ore inventories across the 35 ports in China totalled 132.5 million mt as of March 24, a drop of 620,000 mt from a week ago and 14.9 million mt from a year ago. The daily average shipment rose 6,000 mt on a weekly basis to 2.91 million mt last week. Output of pig iron rebounded again, supporting the rigid demand for iron ore. And due to disturbances on the news front, ore prices dropped. As such, traders and steel mills were more willing to pick up goods from ports. In terms of fundamentals, the arrivals of imported iron ore at China’s major ports decreased while the demand from steel mills increased in light of rising operating rates and capacity utilisation rates. But the profits of steel mills were at the breakeven line amid weak demand, hence the pig iron output is unlikely to rise sharply. As overseas weather gradually improves, it is expected that the supply may increase in the later period. On the whole, the gap between supply and demand may gradually expand, and the decline in inventory across the 35 ports will slow down this week.
Source: SMM Information & Technology