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BEIJING/MANILA: Stainless steel futures on China’s Shanghai Futures Exchange fell to a five-month low on Tuesday as steelmakers cut prices on expectations production would remain high in the coming months.

“Main producers for 300 series stainless steel further cut prices for their cold-rolled products,” Huatai Futures wrote in a note, adding that output was likely to remain at high levels with more capacity expected to come online in November.

The most-traded January contract of stainless steel dived 3.6% to 12,995 yuan ($1,979.68) per tonne, the lowest since June 18, and marking its second straight session of drop.

The brokerage said the price drop could be limited as resilient nickel core prices prop up costs for stainless steelmakers.

Other steel futures on the Shanghai bourse gained. Construction steel rebar jumped 2.2% to 3,919 yuan a tonne.

Hot-rolled coils, used in cars and home appliances, closed up 2% at 4,053 yuan per tonne.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange increased 2.6% to 855 yuan a tonne.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China were unchanged at $124 per tonne on Monday, compared with the previous session.

Dalian coking coal fell 2.2% to 1,306 yuan per tonne.

Coke inched down 0.4% to 2,423 yuan a tonne.

China should set an average annual economic growth target of around 5% for the 2021-2025 period, a senior economist at a top government think tank said, in line with a Reuters report. China’s stainless steel mills face higher costs for essential ingredient ferrochrome if, as expected, South Africa goes ahead with proposals to impose taxes on exports of chrome ore to help protect its smelting industry.—Reuters

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