Rebar Declines to 11-Week Low as China Affirms Property Curbs

Steel reinforcement-bar futures dropped to the lowest level in more than 11 weeks after China reaffirmed the need to reduce overheating in the property market, hurting the demand outlook for the construction material.

Rebar for delivery in January on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.4 percent to 3,613 yuan ($590) a metric ton, the lowest level at close for a most-active contract since July 9. Futures are heading for a 3.7 percent decline this month, the first such loss in four months.

China must prevent rising land prices, which in some instances have been stoked by local governments selling plots in prime locations because they are under pressure to pay debts, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing Hu Cunzhi, vice minister of land and resources. China is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of steel.

“Steel demand will be restrained unless the government eases policies curbing the property market,” said Wang Yongliang, an analyst at Beijing Cifco Futures Co. in Tianjin.

Iron ore for immediate delivery at Tianjin port rose 0.8 percent to $133.8 yesterday, according to a price index compiled by The Steel Index Ltd. The average spot price of rebar fell 0.2 percent to 3,497 yuan today, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

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