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Dalian iron ore struggles for direction after 3-day slide

BEIJING: Dalian iron ore futures struggled for direction on Friday after three days of losses, as portside stocks fell further and hot metal output likely rose, while talks of a state planner meeting on crude steel cut policy this year weighed on the market.

Portside iron ore inventories at major ports across China fell by 7.5% to 131.53 million tonnes in the week to April 6, marking the sixth weekly drop in a row, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

The daily hot metal output is expected to increase by 1.54% to 2.45 million tonnes over March 21-31 from the previous 10-day period, according to data from the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

Meanwhile, the market was abuzz with talks that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss details on crude steel cut policy for this year, analysts said.

NDRC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The most-traded September iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) was 0.19% higher at 796 yuan ($115.72) a tonne, as of 0215 GMT, after shedding 4.4% in the previous three trading sessions of this week. The Singapore market was closed for a public holiday. Other steelmaking raw materials including coking coal and coke saw mixed movements.

Coking coal climbed 1.14%, while coke dipped 0.18%. Steel futures recorded some gains, partly boosted by hopes of the state planner finalising steel output reduction policy, according to analysts.

Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1.11% to 3,994 yuan a tonne, hot-rolled coil rose 1.14%, wire rod climbed 0.44% and stainless steel gained 1.14%.



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