China coking coal, coke futures surge to record highs on supply woes

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A worker inspects a conveyor belt carrying coal at a coal coking plant in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, China January 31, 2018. Picture taken January 31, 2018. REUTERS/William Hong/Files

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BEIJING, Oct 18 (Reuters) - China's coking coal and coke futures jumped about 9% on Monday to record highs, as supply remains tight even though Beijing has ramped up efforts to boost output.

The most-traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange , for January delivery, surged as much as 9% to 3,869 yuan ($601.24) a tonne before closing up 8.4% at 3,847 yuan per tonne.

Coke futures hit their daily trading limit, up 9% at 4,344 yuan per tonne.

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"Coke prices were mainly supported by raw material coking coal," said Tang Binghua, an analyst with Founder CIFCO Futures, adding there was still supply crunch for coking and thermal coal.

"The (tight supply) situation has not eased yet, especially as the government needs to ensure heating demand during winter."

China's coal production stood at 334.1 million tonnes in September, compared with 335.24 million tonnes in August and down 0.9% on an annual basis, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Coke output last month plunged 9.6% year-on-year to 37.18 million tonnes, data showed.

Other steelmaking ingredients fell. Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian exchange dropped 2.3% to 711 yuan a tonne.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China gained $2 to $123 a tonne on Friday, data from SteelHome consultancy showed.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped. Construction-used steel rebar ended down 1.2% at 5,422 yuan a tonne.

Hot rolled coils , used in the manufacturing sector, edged 0.4% lower to 5,678 yuan per tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel futures , for November delivery, gained 0.8% to 20,680 yuan a tonne.

($1 = 6.4350 Chinese yuan)

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Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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