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Dalian Coking Coal, Coke Futures Tumble As China Steel Profit Margins Slump

Coking coal and coke futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange plunged on Monday, as some mills attempt to lower purchase prices of the steelmaking ingredients due to tight steel profit margins in China.

“The uneven profit distribution is the main drive for steel producers to crack down coke prices,” Sinosteel wrote in a note, adding that profit at sample coking plants were at historical high last week while raw material costs for blast furnaces continue to climb.

The most actively traded coking coal futures, for May delivery, fell as much as 5.1% to 1,501 yuan ($232.23) per tonne in early trade.

Coke futures were down as much as 3.7% to 2,623 yuan a tonne.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian bourse, meanwhile, jumped on hopes of post-holiday demand. They were up 2.2% at 1,144 yuan per tonne, as of 0330 GMT.

Capacity utilization rates at 247 blast furnaces across China rose to 92.19%, as of Feb.19, from 90.94% before the Lunar New Year holidays, according to Mysteel consultancy.

Prices for spot iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China , compiled by SteelHome consultancy, stood at $173 per tonne on Friday.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced.

Most-traded construction rebar gained 1.9% to 4,617 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coil, used in the manufacturing sector, jumped 3.1% to 4,843 yuan per tonne.

Stainless steel futures, for April delivery, surged 3.5% to 15,625 yuan a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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