BEIJING: Benchmark iron ore futures in China surged nearly 4% on Friday, and were set to erase the week’s losses as mills ramped up production on resumption of transportation due to easing of lockdown measures and hopes of better demand.
Capacity utilisation rates of blast furnaces at 247 steel plants across the country were at 86.42% this week, data from Mysteel consultancy showed, up from 84.95% the week earlier and at the highest level since late-July in 2021.
The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, jumped as much as 3.9% to 925 yuan ($145.19) a tonne.
They were up 2.7% to 914 yuan as of 0330 GMT. Spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China rose $1 to $153 a tonne on Thursday, data compiled by consultancy SteelHome showed.
“Steelmakers are resuming production on expectation of replenishing demand in the downstream sectors,” said Zhuo Guiqiu, analyst with Jinrui Capital. Dalian coking coal futures gained 3% to 3,159 yuan a tonne and coke prices rose 1.3% to 4,223 yuan per tonne.
The country’s state planner said it had approved 32 fixed-asset investment projects this year totalling 520 billion yuan, and is studying plans for new policy reserve to expand investment in the manufacturing sector.
China iron ore futures jump
Futures prices for construction material steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, jumped 1.3% to 5,049 yuan a tonne.
Hot rolled coils, used in cars and home appliances, inched 0.8% higher to 5,191 yuan per tonne.
Apparent consumption of main steel products including the two materials in China rose 3.5% as of Thursday from the week earlier, according to Reuters calculation based on production and inventory data complied by Mystee.
Shanghai stainless steel futures dipped 0.4% to 19,685 yuan a tonne.