Rebar Falls as China Manufacturing Data Signal Weak Demand

Steel reinforcement-bar futures in Shanghai declined as a lower-than-estimated manufacturing gauge for China signaled that demand would weaken.

Rebar for May delivery, the most-active contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, fell 0.9 percent to close at 3,612 yuan ($593) a metric ton. Prices rose 1.5 percent in the previous two days.

A private index for manufacturing fell for the first time in four months, indicating a limited recovery in the world’s second-largest economy. China is also the biggest steel user. The preliminary 50.4 reading in November for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a 50.8 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“Whenever an economic release indicates weak demand ahead, that’s going to put pressure on prices,” said Wu Jingchen, an analyst at Capital Futures Co. in Beijing.

Iron ore for May delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 1.1 percent to close at 932 yuan a ton. Iron ore for immediate delivery at Tianjin port tracked by The Steel Index was little changed yesterday at $136.40 a dry ton.

Rebar for immediate delivery tracked by Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. was little changed today at 3,533 yuan a ton.