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Iron ore defies falling global commodity prices

Rising Chinese steel demand and output cuts solidify the market

The Chinese government has ordered steel producers to reduce output as part of an anti-pollution drive.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Global stock markets are down from their recent peaks and prices for commodities such as crude oil, gold and copper are also falling. But iron ore and coking coal are bucking the trend thanks to China, the world's largest consumer of the stuff.

Benchmark Australian spot prices for iron ore are near $80 per ton, a 30% rise versus late October. So far this month, prices are up 6%. Spot prices for coking coal have also risen 5% in the first half of February, topping $230 per ton.  

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