Mining

Iron ore price back above $100 a tonne as Chinese city vows to rescue stalled home projects

The most-traded January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trading 3.1% higher at 706 yuan ($101.54) a tonne, after hitting its strongest level since August 30 at 708.50 yuan.

Steel futures in Shanghai also advanced, despite concerns about intensifying covid-19 restrictions in the world’s biggest steel producer and iron ore consumer.

Zhengzhou city vowed to start building all stalled housing projects within 30 days, by making good use of special loans, asking developers to return misappropriated funds, and encouraging some real estate firms to file for bankruptcy, Reuters reported, citing three sources.

Homebuyers in at least 80 cities in China have threatened to halt making mortgage payments as liquidity problems or covid-19 restrictions hampered projects, adding to worries about an ailing property market.

“The market is cautiously looking forward to September and October demand,” Zhongzhou Futures analysts said in a note, referring to China’s peak construction season.

China’s imports of iron ore in August rose 5.5% from the prior month, customs data showed on Wednesday, even as operating rates at blast furnaces only slightly improved.

The country brought in 96.21 million tonnes of the steelmaking raw material last month, up from July’s 91.24 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said.

(With files from Reuters)

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