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Rebar Declines From Five-Month High on China Housing Concerns

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- 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 closed at 3,818 yuan ($613) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange after falling as much as 0.7 percent from yesterday’s close of 3,819 yuan. Futures have dropped 9.3 percent this year.

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 activity 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 0.3 percent to 3,633 yuan a ton today, 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.

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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