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Rebar Extends Gain to 6-Month High on Optimism Demand to Improve

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar futures in Shanghai advanced for a second day to the highest level in more than six months amid speculation demand may improve after China’s Lunar New Year holiday.

Rebar for May delivery rose 1.7 percent to close at 4,053 yuan ($652) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange after touching 4,055 yuan, the highest level since July 9.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., China’s biggest publicly traded steelmaker, yesterday raised prices for the second time in a month. Demand from builders, the biggest steel users in China, may increase after the new year holiday, which ends Feb. 15, as construction sites resume operations as the weather warms.

“The price hike by big mills boosted investor confidence that demand will pick up after the holiday,” said Cao Yanghui, steel and metal analyst with Nanhua Futures Co. in Hangzhou. “Raw material costs are also underpinning prices.”

Jiangsu Shagang Group Co., the nation’s biggest non-state owned mill, also raised prices this week, Cao said, without elaborating.

The average spot price of rebar fell 2 yuan to 3,729 yuan a ton today, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Spot iron ore at Tianjin port was unchanged at $145.90 a dry ton yesterday, according to The Steel Index Ltd.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Yuan in Shanghai at hyuan@bloomberg.net; Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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