Analysts with GF Futures noted that safety inspections at coal mines in Shanxi province are strict, while some production suspension in Inner Mongolia to curb emissions also affected supplies of coking coal.
“Imports are also relatively tight now,” said a Shandong-based trader. “Daily imports of coking coal from Mongolia now is at merely one-third to half of pre-holiday (Spring Festival) level due to the coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, coking plants are replenishing stocks after consuming their holiday inventory, the trader added.
Coking coal inventory at 100 coking plants fell 2% week-on-week as of Mar.25 to 7.93 million tonnes, data compiled by Mysteel consultancy showed.
The most-actively traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, jumped as much as 4.3% during the session. It ended up 1.8% at 1,648 yuan ($250.86) per tonne, the highest closing price since Jan.19.
Other steelmaking ingredients fell, with coke dipped 0.1% to 2,275 yuan a tonne and benchmark iron ore futures slipped 0.9% to 1,099 yuan per tonne.
Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed.
Construction rebar edged 0.1% lower to 4,964 yuan a tonne.
Hot-rolled coil futures, used in cars and home appliances, gained 1.6% to 5,372 yuan a tonne.
Shanghai stainless steel futures jumped 1.7% to 14,695 yuan per tonne. FUNDAMENTALS
* Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China SH-CCN-IRNOR62 increased by $6 to $168 a tonne on Monday from the previous trading session, according to SteelHome consultancy.
* China’s top flat steel producers are primed for profit from a recovery in global manufacturing and goods demand in 2021, as well as from an emissions-cutting drive that will likely knock out high-cost competitors. ($1 = 6.5695 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; editing by Uttaresh.V)