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Rebar Extends Gain on Demand Outlook as China Flags Urban Growth

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar advanced to the highest level in almost five months after the ruling Chinese Communist Party signaled it will boost urbanization to underpin economic growth in the world’s largest user.

Rebar for delivery in May rose 0.7 percent to 3,812 yuan ($611) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the highest price since July 19, and the gain pared this year’s loss to 9.5 percent. The contract jumped 2.8 percent on Dec. 14, the biggest one-day gain in three months, after data suggested China’s manufacturing may expand at a faster pace.

China will seek higher-quality growth next year, with urbanization a driver, the Xinhua News Agency said yesterday after the central economic work conference in Beijing. It will boost spending on so-called non-redundant infrastructure projects that provide long-term benefits, it said.

“We are cautiously bullish on steel,” Wu Zhili, an analyst at Shenhua Futures Co., said by phone from Shenzhen. Increased prospects for more investment in railroads combined with a recovery in the property market and low inventories will likely push up futures, Wu said.

The average spot price of rebar rose 0.6 percent to 3,604 yuan a ton today, the highest since Nov. 28, according to the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Spot iron ore jumped 2.3 percent to $129.30 a dry ton at Tianjin port on Dec. 14, according to a gauge compiled by The Steel Index Ltd.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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