Steel futures drop as inventories climb, demand eases

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    BEIJING- Chinese steel product futures dropped on Monday, with stainless steel falling more than 4 percent in early trade, as inventories piled up for a second consecutive week on easing seasonal demand while a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections also weighed.

    As of Jan. 7, stockpiles of the industrial metals rose for a second week, up by 5 percent from the week earlier, data from Mysteel consultancy showed. Inventories for construction steel rebar jumped 5 percent.

    Meanwhile, mainland China has repor ted 103 new coronavirus cases for Jan. 10, the biggest daily increase in over five months. Top steelmaking province Hebei had 82 new cases, accounting for 96 percent of total confirmed local infections, stoking concerns on steel mills’ production and logistics.

    Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for May delivery, fell 1 percent to 4,427 yuan ($682.17) a ton.

    Hot-rolled coil dropped 1.6 percent to 4,580 yuan a ton.