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BEIJING: China's steel rebar futures dropped on Friday and were on course for a third straight weekly decline as inventories of the construction material surged 16% this week.

Stockpiles of rebar at mills and with traders stood at 8.9 million tonnes as of Jan. 28, up 15.9% from the week earlier, according to Mysteel consultancy, sending total steel products inventories to 17.9 million tonnes this week.

The most active rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for May delivery, fell 1.3% to 4,269 yuan a tonne as of 0330 GMT. It shed 0.6% this week.

Hot rolled coils, used in cars and home appliances, declined 1.9% to 4,401 yuan per tonne. Shanghai stainless steel futures, for March delivery, meanwhile, gained 0.5% at 14,300 yuan a tonne.

Prices for steelmaking ingredients all fell.

Benchmark iron ore futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange were down 2.2% at 988 yuan a tonne, following spot 62% iron ore, which plunged by $8.5 to $159 a tonne on Thursday.

Capacity utilisation rates at 247 blast furnaces across China dipped to 90.53% this week from 91.12% in last, according to Mysteel. Dalian coking coal prices slumped 3.2% to 1,524 yuan per tonne.

Coke prices slid 1.4% to 2,580 yuan a tonne.

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