(Bloomberg) -- Iron ore edged lower as investors weighed weak steel demand in China along with the re-opening of a key export port in Australia.

Prices of the steel-making ingredient fell as much as 1.9% in early trading Monday before paring some losses as demand in China remains moribund, while iron ore shipments from Port Hedland quickly resumed after closing due to a cyclone. 

China’s steel market has been soft since the start of April, despite the onset of the nation’s usual peak building season. Stockpiles jumped 6.2% in early April, with slower sales forcing mills to offer discounts on inventories and keeping them from restocking.

Molten iron supplies remain high, reflecting slower destocking and weaker demand in the market, Galaxy Futures said in a note. Long-term fundamentals are expected to gradually weaken, with prices to adjust downward, it added.

Iron ore fell 0.5% to $115.95 a ton at 2:28 p.m. in Singapore. Futures in Dalian gained 1%, while steel contracts in Shanghai both rose at least 0.7%.

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