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China coke futures hit contract high for fourth day on tight supply

* Dalian coke benchmark rises as much as 4.2%

* Iron ore futures edge lower in subdued trade

* Brazil Oct iron ore exports down 0.9 pct yr/yr

MANILA, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Chinese coke futures surged more than 4% to set a fresh contract high on Wednesday, climbing for four straight sessions as producers sought higher prices amid tight supply of the steelmaking raw material as well as metallurgical coal.

The most-traded coke contract with January expiry on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 4.2% to 2,345 yuan ($349.94) a tonne.

With several coke-producing provinces implementing output capacity cuts as they seek to eliminate inefficient plants, supply of the processed form of coking or metallurgical coal has tightened, while demand remained brisk among Chinese steel producers.

Coal mine safety inspections and fresh coal import curbs in China have combined to limit supply of the material, adding to the upward pressure on coke prices, analysts said.

“The capacity cuts are now ongoing and demand is still firm, giving rise to a tight market balance that put upward pressure on coke prices,” said Richard Lu, senior analyst at commodity consultant CRU in Beijing.

Independent coking plants in north and east China had announced their intention to raise coke prices again by 50 yuan a tonne this week, according to Mysteel consultancy.

Dalian coking coal slipped 0.1% by 0247 GMT.

Iron ore extended losses, with the most-traded Dalian contract down 1%, while the Singapore Exchange benchmark dropped 0.1%.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Iron ore exports by No. 2 supplier Brazil in October totalled 31.19 million tonnes compared with 34.14 million tonnes a year earlier.

* Imported iron ore stocked at Chinese ports climbed to 128.95 million tonnes last week, the highest since mid-February, according to SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-IRONINV

* Benchmark 62% iron ore's spot price SH-CCN-IRNOR62 stood at $118 a tonne on Tuesday, SteelHome data showed.

* Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.4%, while hot-rolled coil climbed 0.3%. Stainless steel slipped 0.3%.

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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