China coking coal futures rise on safety inspection, steel prices rally

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BEIJING — Chinese coking coal futures rose more than 4% on Friday to their highest in over a month amid supply concerns due to production inspections, while steel prices were also fueled by sentiment on output controls and resilient demand.

“With the coming 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding, major producing areas have stepped up safety inspections… there are increasing production reduction or suspension,” analysts with Haitong Futures wrote in a note.

The most-traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, gained as much as 4.3% to 2,068 yuan ($320.81) per tonne, the highest since May 13. They were up 2.0% to 2,022 yuan a tonne by 0301 GMT.

Other steelmaking ingredients also increased.

Benchmark iron ore futures rose 2.1% to 1,231 yuan a tonne, tracking spot 62% iron ore which gained by $5 to $221 per tonne on Thursday.

Coke futures on the Dalian bourse increased 1.6% to 2,759 yuan a tonne.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange also increased, although data from Mysteel consultancy showed that apparent demand for steel products fell 4.8% as of June.17 from the week earlier.

“Despite historical tendencies for steel prices to cool in June when construction activity usually slows in China, prices have continued to rise due to investor speculation of a supply crunch on the back of government efforts to lower steel production,” Fitch Solutions wrote in a note, adding that they are not expecting output to slow down this year.

Construction steel rebar, for October delivery, jumped 2.2% to 5,163 yuan a tonne.

Hot rolled coils were up 2.8% to 5,458 yuan per tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel, for July delivery, rose 1.2% to 16,280 yuan a tonne.

($1 = 6.4461 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)