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Steel and its raw materials surge in China amid firm demand outlook

service@ironoreteam.comThu Aug 17, 2017 10:09am GMT
Chinese steel futures jumped more than 2 percent on Thursday to end a four-day losing streak amid a firm outlook for demand in the world's top consumer, fueling a rally in steelmaking raw materials iron ore and coking coal.
Coking coal surged by its 8 percent exchange-set limit to hit a record high, while iron ore climbed as much as 7 percent.
The recovery in steel and iron ore futures followed a four-day slide after the Shanghai Futures Exchange hiked transaction fees and imposed trading limits to tame speculative trading that lifted rebar futures to 4-1/2-year highs last week.
Rebar prices in the physical market have fallen much more slowly than futures prices in the past four days, indicating that underlying sentiment remains bullish, said Richard Lu, analyst at CRU consultancy in Beijing.
"The physical market has not completely collapsed. Traders did not sell their inventories with big discounts," said Lu, reiterating that most mills have full order books in August.
The most-active rebar on the Shanghai exchange closed up 2.1 percent at 3,809 yuan ($571) a tonne, after peaking at 3,860 yuan earlier.
Steel inventories among Chinese traders had been falling, indicating strong end-user demand. As of Aug. 11, inventories of rebar stood at 3.78 million tonnes, less than half of this year's peak of 8.4 million tonnes reached in February, according to data tracked by SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-RBARINV
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended 5.6 percent higher at 554.50 yuan a tonne, after rising as far as 561.50 yuan.
Coking coal climbed the daily-limit of 8 percent to settle at 1,455.50 yuan a tonne, a record high. Coke rose 6.4 percent to 2,253.50 yuan.