China’s steel futures inched lower on Thursday, retreating from record highs touched in the previous session, as market participants stepped back to assess if the strong downstream demand seen in recent days will be sustained.
Analysts, however, said moves to rein in steel output in China – the world’s top producer and exporter of the construction and manufacturing material – should keep any pullback in prices in check.
The most-active construction steel rebar for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.1 percent to 5,122 yuan ($782.64) a ton.
Hot-rolled coil, used in car bodies and home appliances, dropped 1.5 percent to 5,503 yuan a ton.
As improved steel profit margins prompted Chinese mills to ramp up output, Sinosteel Futures analysts said, “a high level of destocking must be maintained to help support high prices”.
Robust domestic demand fuelled a rally in steel prices recently, along with concerns over output curbs as China rolls out new policies focusing on tighter environmental control that limits production capacities of mills. – Reuters