China steel futures rebound after plunge, but set for monthly loss

BEIJING, May 31 (Reuters) - Chinese rebar and hot-rolled coil futures jumped on Monday, after the market recorded heavy losses in the past few weeks following the government’s vow to stabilise commodity prices, although they were on track to post a monthly loss.

The most-active construction rebar and hot-rolled coils contracts on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had jumped 14.5% and 17.5%, respectively, in the first 12 days this month before plunging more than 24% in the following two weeks.

Affected by Beijing’s policy and market sentiment, ferrous prices have dropped. But iron ore’s fall was lower than steel, which “had put up a lot of pressure on steel firms’ operation”, said Hunan Valin Steel.

Price for October delivery of rebar rose 3.7% to 5,089 yuan ($799.59) a tonne as of 0215 GMT and is set to decline 5.6% this month.

Hot-rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, gained 2.9% to 5,441 yuan per tonne and are on course for 4.3% loss in May.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for July delivery, rose 2.3% to 15,695 yuan per tonne.

A statement from the China Logistics Information Center said steel prices in June are expected to see fluctuations within a small range.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange , for September delivery, surged 4.9% to 1,012 yuan a tonne.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62, compiled by SteelHome consultancy, rose by $1 to $192.5 a tonne on Friday.

Other steelmaking ingredients also gained.

Dalian coking coal increased 1.1% to 1,808 yuan a tonne and coke rose 2.9% to 2,488 yuan per tonne.

Capacity utilisation rates of blast furnaces at 247 mills across China rose to 91.41% last week, the highest since early-March, according to Mysteel consultancy. ($1 = 6.3645 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh)