Singapore — Iron ore’s descent into bear-market territory may herald further weakness, with Barclays pinning the blame for the slide on lower steel demand in China driving a shift from mills towards lower-quality ore and raising the prospect of a drop into the $50s. Ore with 62% content in Qingdao sank 6.8% to $75.45 a dry tonne on Friday, according to Metal Bulletin. After three weeks of losses, the commodity has now erased all of its 2017 gains and fallen more than 20% from a February 21 peak, meeting the common definition of a bear market. On Monday, futures in Dalian and Singapore extended declines. Iron ore is in retreat after a procession of negative outlooks, with Barclays among banks saying that gains were unsustainable, along with Australia’s central bank and even some mining companies. There is concern that curbs in China may hurt steel consumption in the top user, as well as forecasts that a further expansion in mine supplies from Brazil, Australia and China will undermin...

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