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BEIJING: Stainless steel futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped as much as 3% on Tuesday, gaining for a second straight session, fuelled by rising raw material prices and expectations of strong demand after the Chinese New Year holidays next month.

“Recent Chinese nickel pig iron output continued to fall, nickel pig iron prices steadily rose stainless steel costs will remain at high levels,” an analyst with Huatai Futures wrote in a note, adding that the market is optimistic about consumption after the holidays.

The most active stainless steel contract, for April delivery, ended up 1.6% to 14,500 yuan ($2,239.73) per tonne. It soared as much as 3% to hit 14,705 yuan per tonne earlier in the session.

Construction material steel rebar and hot rolled coil, used in the manufacturing sector, also gained.

The May contract of rebar inched up 0.1% to 4,303 yuan a tonne.

Hot rolled coil rose 1.4% to 4,428 yuan a tonne.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 1.5% to 1,026 yuan a tonne.

Coking coal futures fell 2.4% to 1,582 yuan a tonne and coke plunged 4% to 2,619 yuan a tonne.

Spot prices of iron ore with 62% Fe content for delivery to China was unchanged at $171.5 per tonne on Monday, according to SteelHome consultancy.

COVID-19 outbreaks in northern China will have some impact on industries but will not lead to manufacturing shutdowns, said an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Tuesday.

Britain’s Liberty Steel, Europe’s fourth-largest steelmaker, said on Monday it had submitted an updated offer for German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp’s steel division.

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