UPDATE 1-Strong industrial activity, profit lift China steel futures

(Updates with closing prices)

BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) - Chinese steel futures advanced on Monday, with rebar and hot-rolled coil both closing at record highs, as attractive industrial profit margins and rising demand amid strong construction and manufacturing activity lifted prices.

China’s industrial profit surged 179% in the first two months from the year-ago period, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Saturday.

Margins in the manufacturing sector jumped 219.5% on an annual basis, while profit earned by ferrous smelting and processing companies soared 271% during the January-February period, according to the statistics bureau.

Apparent demand for five main steel products, including steel rebar and hot-rolled coil, rose 5.6% week-on-week, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

“According to the usual practice, if daily turnover for construction materials stays above 200,000 tonnes for a week, it can be proved that peak demand season has come,” Tang Chuanlin, analyst with CITIC Securities said in a note.

Construction rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange , for May delivery, ended up 2.6% to 4,971 yuan ($758.11) a tonne. It hit record high of 5,017 yuan per tonne earlier.

Hot-rolled coil futures, used in the manufacturing sector, jumped 3.7% to 5,327 yuan a tonne at close.

Shanghai stainless steel rose 1.2% to 14,500 yuan per tonne.

Prices for steelmaking raw materials on the Dalian Commodity Exchange also gained.

Coking coal futures on the Dalian bourse surged 6.6% to 1,646 yuan a tonne.

Coke futures advanced 5.5% to 2,298 yuan per tonne.

However, analysts with Chang An Futures warned of price fluctuations as the May contracts are about to be delivered soon.

Benchmark iron ore futures opened more than 3% higher, and was trading up 4.6% at 1,123 yuan by 0302 GMT.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 were unchanged at $162 per tonne on Friday from the previous session, according to SteelHome consultancy. ($1 = 6.5571 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)