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Chinese iron ore futures continued their downward slide, as the month of October came to a close. 62% grade iron ore scheduled for May delivery, which is seeing the most activity on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, traded at $150 a ton, including VAT and China’s other import fees. Futures contracts began trading on the Dalian exchange in mid-October. Iron ore prices for immediate delivery fell more than a percentage point, to $131.80 a ton, reaching their low prices of early October. Industry analysts predict that prices could fall as low as $130 a ton in November, however early trading results hold a small glimmer of hope that perhaps Dalian iron ore futures have stabilized. For example, traders expect BHP’s Australian Yandi iron ore to sell at around $123 a ton. Futures analysts point to overabundance of supply as the reason for the low prices. International miners including, BHP and Rio Tinto, continue to expand production, hoping for an upswing in China’s demand, especially important considering China’s position as the world’s largest consumer of iron ore. However, China’s steel output is dropping. End of October inventories of China’s major ports, show 76.53 metric tons of imported iron ore on hand, an increase of 1.64% from the week preceding. Demand from steelmakers is down. Chinese steelmakers such as Maanshan Iron & Steel and Angang Steel are not looking forward to a sustained price recovery in the near future, as China appears to be implementing a more sustainable and gradual economic growth plan. In the meantime, iron ore mills are slowing their purchase schedule. Mining companies hope that mills will honor their long-term contracts and accept additional shipments, but thus far, steel mills are not eager to increase their overflowing inventories.