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Rebar Declines as China Cold Spell Slows Construction Activities

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar futures fell from a five-month high on concern that cold weather across China will reduce demand for the construction material.

Rebar for delivery in May lost as much as 0.3 percent to 3,862 yuan ($619) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange before ending the morning session at 3,867 yuan. Futures closed at 3,873 yuan yesterday, the highest since July 16, and have dropped 8.2 percent this year.

A cold front will sweep most of China today, with snow and rain forecast for the Yangtze Delta region around Shanghai, portions of Yunnan province and other parts of southern China, the China Meteorological Administration said on its website. Freezing temperatures and snowfall in northern China in the past week blocked expressways in Xinjiang and killed two tourists stranded on a mountain near Beijing.

“Construction has pretty much halted across the country as the winter bears down,” Ren Xinlei, an analyst at Luzheng Futures Co., said by phone from Jinan. “The weakness in cash prices is definitely having a drag on the futures market.”

The average spot price for rebar dropped for a fourth day yesterday, falling 0.1 percent to 3,609 yuan a ton, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Spot iron ore at Tianjin port was unchanged at $135.40 a dry ton on Dec. 24, data compiled by The Steel Index Ltd showed.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jake Lloyd-Smith at jlloydsmith@bloomberg.net

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