China’s steel futures dropped on Monday, ending 3 sessions of gains after surveys showed the country’s manufacturing activity shrank for the first time in over two years.
Slowing steel demand during winter in the world’s largest producer also dragged on prices.
The most-traded May rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.4% at 2,489 yuan ($398). The futures price has already fallen 3.7% so far this year.
China’s Purchasing Manager’s Index showed the factory sector unexpectedly shrank for the first time in nearly 2-1/2 years in January, and firms saw more gloom ahead.
Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.49) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.49) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC fell to a 30-day low at CNY 2,530 ($405.08) per metric ton after shifting 3.1%. Following a 1.3% rise last Friday, the price of Chinese slab closed at CNY 2,360 ($377.86) per metric ton.
The steel billet cash price saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $500.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price held steady on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.
US HRC futures contract 3 month saw its price drop 3.8% to a 30-day low of $550.00 per short ton last Friday. After falling 1.0% to $577.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract spot price reached a 30-day low.