* Steel, inputs decline in listless market
* Dalian iron ore ends at session’s lowest
* Iron ore trade volume remains thin (Updates with closing prices, graphic)
By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, July 22 (Reuters) - Benchmark Dalian iron ore futures fell 1.6% in a largely sluggish trade on Monday, pressured by weak demand for the steelmaking material and rising port inventory across China.
The most-actively traded iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), for September delivery, ended at 885 yuan ($128.67) a tonne.
Port stocks of seaborne iron ore across China stood at 118.35 million tonnes, as of July 19, rebounding from a two-and-a-half-year low of 115.25 million tonnes, as of June 28, data tracked by SteelHome consultancy showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV
The latest weekly figure is the highest since the second week of June.
The iron ore index climbed to a record of 924.50 yuan a tonne on July 16 and has risen more than 100% this year amid supply outages in top exporters Australia and Brazil, and robust demand in China.
Despite the rising stockpiles, it may be too early to conclude that worries about supply are about to go away, said a Shanghai-based trader.
“The inventory figures could be higher because of an increase in import volumes, or there could also be some delay in the delivery from ports to the mills,” the trader said. “We need to see a trend running for several weeks.”
The volume of Dalian iron ore traded remained relatively thin for a third straight session.
Last week, the DCE raised transaction fees for all iron ore futures contracts, starting July 18, seen by some analysts as a move aimed at curbing frenzied speculation that had recently driven prices higher.
* Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 was up 0.4% at $122 a tonne on Friday, Steelhome data showed. It climbed to $126.50 on July 3, the highest since January 2014, SteelHome data showed.
* The most-actively traded steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, edged 0.6% lower at 3,948 yuan a tonne, extending losses for a fourth straight session.
* Hot-rolled steel used in cars and home appliances slipped 0.2% to 3,863 yuan a tonne, down for a third consecutive session.
* Other steelmaking inputs also extended losses, with Dalian coking coal down 0.8% at 1,395.50 yuan a tonne, while coke dropped 1.1% to 2,141 yuan.
* China said on Monday it will impose anti-dumping duties on some stainless steel products imported from the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.
* The boss of the Tangyin Steel Plant, owned by the Tangshan Iron and Steel Group, has been detained after the plant, located in Hebei province, was found to have violated anti-smog restrictions, state media reported on Monday.
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($1 = 6.8779 yuan)
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips