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Rebar Declines for First Week in Five on Supply, Housing Curbs

Steel reinforcement-bar futures fell for the first week in five on rising supplies and concern that climbing home prices may prompt curbs on property development.

Rebar for October delivery dropped by 1.2 percent to close at 4,036 yuan ($647) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, bringing the total decline to 5.6 percent this week, the first weekly loss since the week ended Jan. 11.

Inventory of billet in Tangshang city in northern China, the benchmark for unfinished steel, rose to a record 1.77 million tons yesterday, according to ITG Futures Co. New home prices gained in 53 cities in January from the previous month, the statistics bureau said today. Premier Wen Jiabao this week told cities that have had “excessively fast” price gains to “promptly” impose home-purchase restrictions.

“The mounting inventory suggests the problem of over-production has resurfaced,” Chen Shaoxiong, an analyst at ITG Futures, said from Xiamen. “Any talks on property curbs are sure to hurt rebar prices because it’s crucial to usage.”

The average spot price for rebar lost 0.4 percent to 3,866 yuan a ton today, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Iron ore for immediate delivery fell 1.7 percent to $156.20 a ton yesterday, according to data compiled by The Steel Index Ltd.

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