Steel reinforcement-bar futures dropped from the highest level in five months on speculation that growth in demand for the construction raw material will slow as China maintains curbs on the property market.
Rebar for delivery in May fell as much as 0.6 percent to 3,796 yuan ($609) per metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and was at 3,806 yuan by the end of the morning session. Futures, down 9.6 percent this year, closed at 3,819 yuan yesterday, the highest price since July 19.
China will stick to its real estate curbs, Liao Yonglin, an official from the Ministry of Land and Resources, said yesterday. In its more than two-year effort to rein in prices, China raised down-payment and mortgage requirements, imposed a property tax for the first time in Shanghai and Chongqing, and placed home- purchase restrictions in about 40 cities.
“The level of construction activities in the housing market is rather lackluster,” Long Qingqing, analyst at Huatai Great Wall Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai.
The country’s new property starts fell 7.2 percent in the first 11 months from last year to 1.62 billion square meters (17.4 billion square feet), according to statistics bureau data.
The average spot price of rebar rose 0.6 percent to 3,624 yuan a ton yesterday, the highest since Nov. 27, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Spot iron ore at Tianjin port was unchanged at $132.20 a dry ton yesterday, according to a gauge compiled by The Steel Index Ltd.
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