Chinese Steel Futures Rise On Pollution Control Pledge, Raw Materials Extend Losses

China’s steel rebar and hot-rolled coils futures rose on Friday as the environment ministry pledged to cut concentrations of hazardous, small airborne particles known as PM2.5 over the winter, while steelmaking ingredients fell more on coal drags.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment said China aims to cut PM2.5 by an average of 4% on an annual basis in key pollution control cities during this autumn-winter season, and will arrange staggered production at steel mills.
Production of five main steel products – rebar, hot-rolled coils, wire rod, cold rolled coils and medium plates – at steelmakers tracked by Mysteel consultancy rose 4.9% this week to 9.2 million tonnes. However, it was well below the 10.7 million tonnes weekly output in the year-earlier period.
Construction-used rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1, for January delivery, ended up 0.8% at 4,646 yuan ($727.14) per tonne.
Hot-rolled coils SHHCcv1 on the Shanghai bourse rose 0.9% to 5,003 yuan a tonne and stainless steel futures SHSScv1 edged 0.6% higher to 19,080 yuan per tonne.
Prices of steelmaking raw materials, however, dropped further on weak sentiment amid Beijing’s crackdown on coal prices.
The country’s top economic planner said initial results after its recent investigation into coal producers showed there was still room for further adjustment of coal prices.
The most actively traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange DJMcv1 plunged 10.2% to 2,268 yuan a tonne, the lowest closing price since Aug. 23.
The contract dived 21.1% this week, marking its biggest weekly loss since the week ended Aug. 19, 2016.
Coke futures DCJcv1 slumped 7.9% to 2,978 yuan per tonne. They fell 16.4% this week.
Benchmark iron ore futures DCIOcv1 faltered 5.6% to 638 yuan a tonne. Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 slipped $6 to $116.5 per tonne on Thursday, data from SteelHome consultancy showed.