Rebar Declines as Output, Ore Prices Counter Drop in Inventories

Steel reinforcement-bar futures dropped for a second day as increasing output and cheaper iron ore prices outweighed a reduction in inventories.

Rebar for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.4 percent to close at 3,590 yuan ($586) a metric ton. Futures have lost about 10 percent this year.

Rebar inventory in China tracked by Shanghai Steelhome Information Technology Co. fell to 8.64 million tons on May 17, the sixth weekly decline and the lowest level since Feb. 8.

“There are both positive and negative signs in the market, with declining inventory a good sign for demand while rising output and lower iron ore prices weighing on rebar prices,” Wang Yongliang, analyst at Beijing CIFCO Futures Co., said by phone from Tianjin today.

Iron ore with 62 percent iron content for immediate delivery to the Tianjin port in China was little changed at $123 a yesterday, the lowest since Dec. 7, according to an index compiled by The Steel Index Ltd.

China’s daily crude steel output nationwide in early May was estimated to rise 3 percent to 2.19 million tons, compared with daily output in late-April, according to Custeel.com analyst Hu Yanping on May 17, citing data from the China Iron & Steel Association.

The average spot price for rebar fell 0.2 percent to 3,552 yuan a ton today, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

— With assistance by Feiwen Rong

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