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Iron Ore Futures Hit Ten-Month High On Chinese Stimulus Efforts

Iron ore futures hit a ten-month high on Monday, riding a wave of optimism from Chinese policymakers who rolled out new a fiscal stimulus package coupled with interest rate cuts at major state-owned banks. This move by Beijing is set to cushion the struggling property market.

Iron ore futures in Singapore soared to the highest intra-day level since late February, around $140 per ton. Prices have soared 40% since early August. 

On Sunday, state-run media Global Times reported that Chinese policymakers planned to roll out 1 trillion yuan ($137 billion) special bonds to boost investment and demand in 2024. 

"Construction of the projects will improve China's flood control system, emergency response mechanism and disaster relief capabilities, and better protect people's lives and property, so it is very significant," the National Development and Reform Commission wrote in a statement over the weekend, which it had identified 9,600 projects. 

Just a few days prior, China's top state-controlled banks reduced interest rates on certain deposits, signaling reduced lending at a time when Beijing is engineering a recovery. 

Li Changan, a professor at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics, told the media outlet that Chinese policymakers still have additional fiscal and monetary tools to support recovery. 

Bloomberg noted, "With heightened anticipation for better demand, steel mills that have depressed iron ore stockpiles to keep operations lean may now face restocking pressure should needs exceed supplies." 

"We maintain that Iron Ore futures should quite easily target $145-158 a ton at least by next quarter," said Atilla Widnell, managing director at Navigate Commodities Pte in Singapore. 


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