China steel futures rise, output cuts support

13 November 2017

Chinese steel rebar futures rose on Monday as output cuts in major steelmaking cities tightened supply.

The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had climbed 0.6 percent to 3,794 yuan ($570.68) a tonne by the midday break.

The utilisation rate at Chinese steel mills continues to fall, with the rate at steel mill blast furnaces touching the lowest level since at least 2012 at 70.17 percent as of Nov. 10, according to data from Mysteel consultancy seen by Reuters through a broker.

“The output cut has already caused a shortage in supplies of rebar products with a range of specs in some regions,” said Bai Jing, an analyst with Galaxy Futures in Beijing.

China has pledged to crack down on environmental pollution and slash the surplus in its massive steel capacity. It has ordered steel mills in major cities including Tangshan and Handan in the north to cut output in winter months.

Steelmaking raw materials were supported by firming steel prices, Bai added.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 1.3 percent to 466 yuan a tonne. Coking coal futures stood steady.

However, coke futures fell 1.7 percent to 1,790 yuan a tonne, as steel mills held high coke inventories and were reluctant to restock more.

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB inched up 0.4 percent to $62.6 a tonne on Friday, according to Metal Bulletin.