* More snow will hit coal transportation
* Mills increase restocking to avoid interruption
* Steel demand remains weak
SHANGHAI, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Chinese coking coal futures extended gains on Wednesday as steel mills accelerated restocking of the raw material on concerns that snows forecast for northern regions could disrupt transportation.
Coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 3 percent to 1,372 yuan ($210.90) a tonne in early trading.
“The snowy weather is expected to hit more northern regions, which would interrupt the transportation of coal and promote mills to increase buying ahead of bad weather,” said a trader in Shanxi.
Some coke producers in Shanxi province, China’s top coke producing region, have been ordered to raise production to increase coke oven gas that can be turned into liquefied natural gas, also boosting appetite for coking coal.
Among other steel making raw materials, iron ore edged up 0.7 percent to 543.5 yuan and coke rose 1.4 percent to 2,033.5 yuan a tonne by 0221 GMT.
The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange inched up 0.6 percent to 3,866 yuan a tonne, but seasonal weakness is expected to weigh on prices.
“Physical market remains soft and transactions are tepid. Prices are expected to weaken further,” said a futures broker in Shanghai.
Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB rose $2.10 to $74.71 a tonne on Tuesday from Dec.29, according to Metal Bulletin. ($1 = 6.5054 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Ruby Lian and Ryan Woo; editing by Richard Pullin)