Shanghai rebar hits 7-week low as winter slows China demand
The weakness in the steel market could curb demand among Chinese mills for iron ore, cutting an upturn in prices of the raw material that stretched its winning run into a sixth straight week last week.
China's steel market has entered a weak season as the cold winter dampens construction activity in northern China, hitting demand for rebar, said Wang Jin, an analyst with Everbright Futures in Shanghai.
The most traded rebar contract for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a session low of 3,549 yuan ($570) per tonne, its weakest since September 27. By the midday break, it was down 84 yuan, or 2.3 percent, at 3,559 yuan.
The fall in Shanghai rebar followed a 70 yuan per tonne decline in the price of steel billet in China's key Tangshan area over the weekend, Wang said.
Sellers in China of iron ore cargoes from top suppliers Australia and Brazil cut price offers by $1 per tonne on Monday, according to Chinese consultancy Umetal, reflecting concern appetite for the steelmaking ingredient may slip along with softer steel prices.
A modest revival in China's steel demand has supported a recovery in iron ore prices from three-year lows below $87 a tonne touched in early September, although the still fragile demand has also capped price gains in both steel and iron ore.
Benchmark iron ore
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