May 11, 2020 / 4:28 AM / a month ago

China stainless steel futures surge as domestic demand recovers

* Stainless steel rises as much as 4.4% in early trade

* Dalian iron ore futures edge down

* Spot 62% iron ore rose to $89.3 per tonne

BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) - Chinese stainless steel futures soared nearly 4.5% to a more than nine-month high on Monday as domestic demand continues to recover from coronavirus-related shutdowns.

The most-traded stainless steel futures contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for June delivery, jumped as much as 4.4% to 13,730 yuan ($1,939.68) per tonne. It was up 3.7% at 13,640 yuan by 0215 GMT.

“The purchasing demand at downstream sectors (for stainless steel) has been good,” said Fu Zhiwen, an analyst with Huatai Futures.

“There had been worries of an export impact on consumption, but not obviously affected so far.”

Apart from reviving demand, prices also rose on concerns over the supply of raw materials such as nickel and chrome, according to a contact at a stainless steelmaker who requested to be unnamed.

The top two nickel miners in the Philippines have gradually resumed mining and shipping operations since May after coronavirus-led disruptions. But the trader said output was still lower compared with a year earlier.

Other steel futures on the Shanghai exchange dropped. The October contracts for construction rebar and hot-rolled coil both inched down 0.2% to 3,457 yuan and 3,328 yuan, respectively.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, edged down 0.1% to 632 yuan a tonne.

* Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China rose to $89.3 per tonne on Friday.

* Dalian coking coal fell 0.4% to 1,089 yuan a tonne and coke lost 1.2% to 1,731 yuan a tonne.

* More than 4.03 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 277,092 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* Brazil’s Vale SA is seeing a “very vigorous” economic rebound in China, the iron ore miner’s principal export market, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said during an online event hosted by newspaper Valor Economico on Friday.

* Local governments in China issued 286.8 billion yuan ($40.55 billion) worth of bonds in April, of which 120.2 billion yuan were in new bonds and 166.6 billion yuan were refinanced, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance on Saturday.

* China’s central bank said it lowered interest rates on its standing lending facility (SLF) in April, catching up with similar reductions in other liquidity tools as part of Beijing’s efforts to support the coronavirus-hit economy.

$1 = 7.0785 Chinese yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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