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Shanghai rebar hits two-week high amid Tangshan output cuts

Chinese steel futures climbed to a two-week high on Monday, gaining for the third straight day amid ongoing restrictions on production to control pollution led by top steelmaking city Tangshan.

Tangshan said last week it will extend summer output cuts across the steel, coke and power sectors into September.

“The market remained focused on the production curbs in the steel industry in China,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

The most actively traded rebar contract, for January delivery, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose to as much as 4,299 yuan ($627) a tonne, its highest since Aug. 27, before closing up 1.8 percent at 4,284 yuan.

The sustained production limits in Tangshan come ahead of winter, when output at mills in northern China would be curtailed for the second year in a row as the country fights smog.

Ahead of further production curbs and before the peak season this month, some mills had boosted output.

Average daily crude steel output at member mills of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) reached 1.92 million tonnes between Aug. 21 and 31, up 0.3 percent from Aug. 11 and 20, data from the group showed.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange slid 0.7 percent to 497.50 yuan a tonne. Coking coal jumped 3 percent to settle at 1,320 yuan per tonne, just off a session peak of 1,321.50 yuan, a two-week high.

Coke, made from coking coal, added 0.3 percent to 2,409 yuan.

The shutdown of some coal processing plants in Lvliang in China’s Shanxi province to meet environmental protection standards had “worsened the supply of coking coal,” said Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau.

“Meanwhile, coke plants need to replenish their stockpiles as downstream steel production remains strong. We expect domestic demand will trigger more coking coal imports and prices will rise further,” Lau said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Additional reporting by Muyu Xu in BEIJING; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Christian Schmollinger)

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