China Rebar Drops to Five-Month Low on Iron Price, Mill Supplies

Steel reinforcement-bar futures in Shanghai fell to the lowest level in more than five months as a decline in the price of iron ore and consistently high output from local mills pressured the market.

The contract for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 1.6 percent to 3,542 yuan ($575) a metric ton, the lowest close for the most-active contract since Nov. 30. Futures, which reopened after a three-day holiday, lost 6.2 percent in the previous two weeks.

Spot iron ore at Tianjin port was reported at $134.10 a dry ton on April 30, the lowest since March 20, Steel Index Ltd. data show. China’s daily crude steel output nationwide in mid-April was estimated at 2.116 million tons, up 52,100 tons a day from same period a month earlier, according to Custeel.com, which cited data from the China Iron & Steel Association.

“The lower iron ore price is pressuring the market, while Chinese mills’ output remained at a high level,” Li Meng, analyst at Huatai Changcheng Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai today.

A private gauge of Chinese manufacturing declined last month, adding to signs that a growth slowdown will persist in the world’s second-largest economy. The final April reading of 50.4 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with 51.6 for March and the preliminary reading of 50.5 given April 23.

The average spot price for rebar fell 0.2 percent to 3,568 yuan a ton today, according to the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

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