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UPDATE 1-China steel rebar set for third straight weekly loss as inventories jump

(Adds details and updates with closing prices)

BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China’s steel rebar futures closed 1.4% lower on Friday for a third straight weekly decline as inventories of the construction material surged 16% this week.

Stockpiles of rebar at mills and with traders stood at 8.9 million tonnes, as of Jan. 28, up 15.9% from the prior week, according to Mysteel consultancy, sending total steel products inventories to 17.9 million tonnes this week.

The most active rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for May delivery, ended at 4,327 yuan ($669.72) per tonne. It edged down 0.6% for the week.

Hot-rolled coils, used in cars and home appliances, declined 2.1% to 4,390 yuan a tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for March delivery, meanwhile, inched up 0.2% to 14,260 yuan a tonne.

Prices for all steelmaking ingredients declined.

Benchmark iron ore futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange ended down 2% at 990 yuan a tonne, following spot 62% iron ore, which plunged by $8.5 to $159 a tonne on Thursday. SH-CCN-IRNR62

Capacity utilisation rates at 247 blast furnaces across China dipped to 90.53% this week from 91.12% in last, according to Mysteel.

Dalian coking coal prices slumped 4% to 1,510 yuan a tonne and coke prices dropped 2.4% to 2,554 yuan a tonne.

For this week, coking coal and coke prices fell 7% and 7.8%, respectively.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM) is set to hire 40 more safety inspectors, to more than double the total number of inspectors, allowing it to check all the country’s tailings dams annually, the agency’s director told Reuters on Thursday.

* Brazil steelmakers will raise prices for steel used in auto manufacturing between 12% and 15% in February in line with rising steel prices worldwide, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

$1 = 6.4609 Chinese yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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