Stockpiles of iron ore at 25 major Chinese ports further dropped by the end of the period from Feb. 26 to March 1, according to the iron ore price report released by the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday. Inventories of imported iron ore at the ports stood at 76.87 million tonnes, down 680,000 tonnes, or 0.87 percent, month on month, the report said. The market failed to maintain an upward trend after the seven-day Spring Festival, which ended on Feb. 15, and inventories dropped due to slack stock index futures. Meanwhile, hurricanes in Australia also affected iron ore shipments. Some major Australian ports were closed temporarily, which lifted global expectations on iron ore goods in transit, the report said. 8 The price index for 63.5-percent-grade iron ore imports declined 5 points to 151 points week on week, while the index for 58-percent-grade imports lost 6 points to 132 points, the report said. China, the world's top iron ore consumer and buyer, imported 740 million tonnes of the raw material in 2012, up 8.4 percent year on year, data from the General Administration of Customs show.