January 8, 2018 / 4:20 AM / 5 months ago

Chinese steel futures weaken further as demand slips

* Iron ore climbs on hopes of recovery in steel production

* Coking coal prices up, coke down

SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Chinese steel futures extended losses on Monday as demand in the world’s top producer falters amid heavy snow and frigid weather.

The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had dipped 0.7 percent to 3,764 yuan ($580.24) a tonne by the midday break.

Steel demand typically weakens in winter as low temperatures curb activity in the construction sector, a key user of steel products.

“Mills have cut prices as demand dropped quickly, especially as there has been heavy snow in more regions including some eastern Chinese cities,” said a steel trader in Shanghai. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange edged up 0.5 percent to 542 yuan a tonne, buoyed by expectations that steel mills will pick up restocking of the raw material ahead of output recovery in March.

Steel mills have been curbing production since mid-November, when the government ordered them to reduce output until mid-March to rein in smog.

Coke dropped 0.5 percent to 2,059.5 yuan a tonne and coking coal rose 0.7 percent to 1,360.5 yuan a tonne.

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB inched up $0.26 to $76.8 a tonne last Friday from the day before, according to Metal Bulletin. ($1 = 6.4870 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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