* China iron ore imports at 2nd highest on record in
* Steel exports fall to lowest since February
By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, Oct 13 Shanghai rebar steel futures rose
to five-week highs on Thursday as hefty Chinese iron ore imports
in September suggested firm steel demand in the world's biggest
China shipped in 92.99 million tonnes of iron ore in
September, up 6.0 percent from the previous month and the second
highest on record, customs data showed.
The strong number shows the impact of continued closures
among Chinese iron ore mines "but also the relatively strong
demand from the housing and infrastructure sector which has
boosted steel production", said Daniel Hynes, commodity
strategist at ANZ.
Hynes expects Chinese steel output, which rose for a sixth
straight month in August, to increase further amid low
"It supports our view that demand, at least in the short
term, is relatively strong and that steel production will
continue to rise," he said.
The most-traded rebar, a construction steel product, on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange touched a session-high of
2,368 yuan ($355) a tonne, its strongest since Sept. 7, before
trimming gains to 2,341 yuan by midday, up 0.3 percent.
Rebar futures have risen 40 percent this year.
The most-active iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
climbed 0.6 percent to 426 yuan a tonne.
Firm domestic prices have helped curb China's steel exports
to the lowest since February, offering a reprieve for overseas
rivals that had been angered by a flood of cheap Chinese
Steel shipments fell 2.3 percent from August to 8.80 million
tonnes last month, down for a third month in a row. For the
first nine months of the year, exports were still up 2.4 percent
at 85.12 million tonnes.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Tianjin port .IO62-CNI=SI
was unchanged at $56.50 a tonne on Wednesday, according to The
($1 = 6.6685 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford)