Some restocking boosted transactions today, as mills started purchasing ore to hold over the May Day holiday. Some traders held their prices firm as DCE iron ore futures rose in the afternoon session.
Traders were in a trading mood and the number of concluded trades rose over yesterday. In East China, some mills showed little demand as iron ore inventories at the ports and in plants totalled around 30 days worth of production. In North China, some mills only have 5-10 days inventory at hand, and were more aggressive in their procurements.
According to SMM, mills operating rates for blast furnace have kept increasing, especially in April, as mill profit margins recovered and steel inventories started to fall. As downstream demand slowly recovers, there’s an expectation that iron ore demand may slowly rise.