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UPDATE 1-China steel jumps after capacity cuts, glut weighs on iron ore
June 15, 2017 / 7:46 AM / in a month

UPDATE 1-China steel jumps after capacity cuts, glut weighs on iron ore

3 Min Read

* Shanghai rebar rises as much as 4.2 pct to two-week high

* China says achieved 85 pct of steel capacity reduction target

* Fat margins for China steelmakers on infrastructure spending

* "Too many iron ore cargoes" in China -trader (Adds coal, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, June 15 (Reuters) - Chinese rebar steel futures climbed to a two-week high on Thursday after authorities said the world's top producer had achieved 85 percent of its capacity reduction target this year, while rising supply limited gains in raw material iron ore.

China said it had cut 42.4 million tonnes of steel capacity by end-May as part of efforts to tackle pollution and a stubborn glut.

Demand has also been strong, particularly for construction steel products like rebar, fattening profit margins of Chinese producers to their biggest in years as Beijing boosts infrastructure spending to spur growth.

"Demand for steel products in China is still at a good level," said a Shanghai-based trader.

The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 3.8 percent at 3,111 yuan ($458) a tonne. It peaked at 3,124 yuan earlier in the session, its strongest since June 1.

"In view of stable economic conditions with sustained growth in industrial production and consumption, we are positive on steel demand in China," Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau said in a note.

The spike in steel prices helped lift iron ore, although gains in the steelmaking commodity were much smaller.

The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.6 percent to 423 yuan per tonne. That was not far from Wednesday's seven-month low of 412.50 yuan.

"There are too many iron ore cargoes available and steel mills don't have any difficulty buying cargoes at any time," said the Shanghai trader.

Stockpiles of imported iron ore at China's ports reached 140.05 million tonnes on June 9, the most since 2004, according to data tracked by SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-IRONINV

Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB rose 2 percent to $54.43 a tonne on Wednesday, a day after falling to its weakest in a year, according to Metal Bulletin. The spot benchmark has lost 31 percent this year.

Also on Thursday, coking coal on the Dalian exchange gained 1.4 percent to 968 yuan a tonne and coke rallied 3.7 percent to 1,512 yuan. ($1 = 6.7953 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Joseph Radford)

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