Stockpiles of iron ore at 25 major Chinese ports declined last week, according to Tuesday's Xinhua-China iron ore index report. At the end of the Dec. 10 to Dec. 16 period, inventories of imported iron ore in ports stood at 83.84 million tons, down 975,000 tons or 1.15 percent over the previous week, the report said. The price index for 62-percent-grade iron ore dropped three points from the previous week to 135. The index for 58-percent-grade iron ore also dropped three points to 122. The report said iron ore trading volume last week was sluggish because most traders were not active in buying ore and were maintaining a wait-and-see attitude. Analysts predicted that the drop in steel demand will have a negative impact on iron ore trading and it is unlikely that there will be large-scale purchase orders of iron ore.