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Dalian coking coal, coke stretch rally amid tight China supply
November 7, 2016 / 3:32 AM / a year ago

Dalian coking coal, coke stretch rally amid tight China supply

* Coking coal surges by 10 pct limit, coke up nearly 7 pct

* China mills’ coking coal stocks at all-time low - Argonaut

* Shanghai rebar jumps 4 pct to highest since 2014

* Iron ore futures up slightly, China port stocks at two-year high

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Steelmaking commodities coking coal and coke extended their rally on Monday, with coking coal surging by its 10 percent limit and coke hitting its strongest since 2013, amid tight supply among Chinese steel producers.

Beijing’s big push to curb overcapacity in coal has led to closure of many mines across the country, limiting available supply to domestic consumers and fueling a rally this year.

The most-traded coking coal for January delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange soared 10 percent to hit the exchange-set ceiling of 1,516 yuan a tonne, a record high.

Coke climbed 6.7 percent to 1,996 yuan a tonne, just off a session peak of 2,000.50 yuan, its loftiest since March 2013.

Inventory of coking coal among major Chinese steel companies had dropped to nine days, an all-time low, said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong.

“The market remains very tight. At the same time overall steel demand is good supported by infrastructure, so mills are able to pass on the higher cost of raw material,” said Lau.

The price of rebar, a construction steel product, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 4.3 percent to 2,843 yuan a tonne, its highest since September 2014.

Steel prices were also supported by tighter supply after Chinese authorities launched fresh efforts to reduce steel output in Tangshan, a major production area, to control smog in the capital Beijing and elsewhere, said Lau.

Iron ore was left out of the sharp gains in steelmaking raw materials, with futures in Dalian up 0.9 percent at 508 yuan a tonne.

Unlike coal, supply of iron ore in China remains high with stocks of imported iron ore at the country’s major ports at 108.6 million tonnes as of Nov. 4, according to data tracked by consultancy SteelHome. SH-TOT-IRONINV

That’s the biggest inventory level since November 2014 and stockpiles have risen nearly 17 percent this year. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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