Iron ore stockpiles at mainland China ports shrank to 99.85 million tons as of January 9, Bloomberg reported, citing data in an emailed report from Shanghai Steelhome Information Technology. The dip below 100 million tons marked the seventh week of falling holdings for China, where inventories have shrunk 12% since peaking at 113.7 million tons in July. Iron ore prices collapsed 47% in 2014 as BHP Billiton (BHP.ASX, BHP.NYES), Rio Tinto (RIO.ASX, RIO.NYSE, RIO.LON) and Vale SA (VALE.NYSE) increased low-cost output in Australia and Brazil, spurring a global surplus. Some mines in China–the world’s largest steelmaker–are shuttered over the winter months, increasing steel mills’ reliance on port holdings of iron ore.
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