Stockpiles of iron ore at 25 major Chinese ports declined last week, as market confidence began to pick up, according to a Tuesday report by the Xinhua News Agency. Inventories of imported iron ore stood at 73.45 million tons from July 16 to 22, down 1.13 percent from the previous week, according to the report. The price index for 63.5-percent-grade iron ore imports rose 6 points from the previous week to 133 points. The index for 58-percent-grade iron ore increased 6 points to 117. The report said iron ore prices will rise marginally in the following week, adding that trading volume is not expected to rise. A rebound in steel prices may lead to an iron ore price hike, although this will depend on the extent of production cuts made by steelmakers, the report said.