Rebar Drops to Five-Week Low as Property Curbs Weaken Outlook

Steel reinforcement-bar futures fell to the lowest in five weeks in Shanghai on concern that more efforts to rein in excessive investment in Chinese property projects will weaken demand.

Rebar for delivery in January on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.4 percent to close at 3,713 yuan ($607) a metric ton, the lowest close for a most-active contract since Aug. 6. Futures have fallen 6.9 percent this year.

Chinese banks including large state-owned lenders temporarily halted mortgage loan in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to avoid risks from property “bubbles,” according to a commentary in the Securities Times.

“We’re closely watching for more policy signals in the property sector,” said Wang Yongliang, an analyst at Beijing Cifco Futures Co. in Tianjin. “Although high production costs are providing some support, rebar futures may have further to fall in the short-term.”

Iron ore for immediate delivery at Tianjin port was little changed at $135.10 a dry ton yesterday, according to a price index compiled by The Steel Index Ltd. The steel-making ingredient reached its five-month high at $142.80 on Aug. 14.

The average spot price of rebar fell 0.2 percent to 3,567 yuan a ton today, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

— With assistance by Feiwen Rong

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