Article 26 Spot iron ore prices dropped to their lowest in nearly a month, under pressure from a weaker steel market in top consumer China that plunged Shanghai steel futures to a record low this week.
Traders were not confident that a seasonal pickup in Chinese steel demand next month would be strong enough to revive prices, and iron ore buyers were reluctant to buy spot cargoes.
China's steel consumption usually picks up in September along with construction activity after a summer lull.
But traders say a slowing economy could limit any pick-up.
By Thursday, equities and commodities regained some lost ground as Chinese shares recovered.
On the supply side, growth is "looking soft" amid weaker capesize iron ore ship-charter rates, ANZ Bank said.
Charter rates for the Western Australia-China route dropped to $4.37 a ton on Wednesday, the lowest since mid-April.
"Supply from Australia is also looking weak in August after strong supply growth in July," ANZ said. Australia is the world's top iron ore exporter.