Iron ore futures in China edged lower for a second session on July 23, pressured by weak demand in the wake of more output restrictions on steel producers in the country's top steelmaking city of Tangshan in northern China's Hebei province.
The most-actively traded September iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 2.4% to 874 yuan/t ($127.03/t) in early trade, its lowest since July 15.
The benchmark was down 0.6% as of 0215 GMT, with losses kept in check following news that Vale SA's second-quarter iron ore production plunged nearly 34% from a year ago, as the Brazilian miner reaffirmed its 2019 sales guidance.
Vale, the world's top iron ore exporter, said on July 22 that its second-quarter iron ore production shrank as many of its key dams remained shut or partially shut after a deadly dam burst in January.
"Investors mulled over the impact of further curbs on the Chinese steel industry," ANZ Research said in a note, citing the latest notice from Tangshan on steel output curbs.
Tangshan has stepped up anti-pollution measures beginning July 21 until July 31 as it seeks to meet its air quality targets, a city government-backed newspaper reported on July 22.
Steel mills with "A level of emission", the cleanest in a four-tier emission level system set by the city, and those located in coastal regions, will have to curb their sintering operations by 20% over the period.(source from sxcoal.com)