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    Iron ore drops 6.8pc as China moves to 'cool' market
    Timothy MooreOnline editor
    Dec 23, 2020 – 3.31am
    The spot price of iron ore tumbled $US11.92 or 6.8 per cent to $US164.53 a tonne on Tuesday, after having surged 7.3 per cent the previous session. It did so even after a report showed global steel output surged in November.

    Prices are sourced from Fastmarkets MB.

    The pullback came after China's Dalian Commodity Exchange proposed cutting some trading position limits by more than half for its iron ore futures, Reuters reported.

    Global steel output eased in November from October. Bloomberg

    In a statement issued late on Monday, the exchange said it was proposing changing position limits for non-futures company members to either 15,000 or 20,000 lots from the current 40,000 lots.

    The proposed reductions were designed "to strengthen the risk management of iron ore futures", the DCE said, adding it's soliciting public opinion on the changes until December 23.

    Iron ore leaps 7.3pc to more than $US176 a tonne
    In a note, Capital Economics said the slight easing in global output reflected the impact of cold weather on construction activity in China.

    "Nevertheless, we expect global output to remain high in 2021 as elevated prices have boosted mill profitability."

    Capital Economics said it thinks "that the recent surge in [Chinese] domestic steel prices will incentivise output, assuming that temperatures increase".

    In a December 16 note, Liberum said it didn't see the iron ore price advance, in particular this month, as sustainable.

    "Steel consumption [in China] is down for the fourth month in a row, as per usual seasonal patterns, so there does not seem to be any reacceleration here to justify the parabolic spike in iron ore prices to over $US150 a tonne."

    Timothy Moore is an
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