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BEIJING: Chinese coking coal and coke futures gained more than 5% each on Wednesday, buoyed by supply concerns as coal imports from Mongolia were disrupted by the recent outbreak of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Some border cities in China’s Inner Mongolia region and Heilongjiang province have halted non-container imports by rail for commodities including coal, iron ore, copper ore and zinc to reduce risk amid a recent resurgence of infections.

“Thermal coal imports (from Mongolia) are expected to fall significantly, many traders had hiked prices and are seen to further increase,” analysts with Galaxy Futures wrote in a note.

The most-traded metallurgical coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, jumped as much as 5.3% to 1,962 yuan ($308.38) a tonne in morning trade. They were up 4.6% at 1,951 yuan per tonne as of 0312 GMT.

Coke prices also chased the gain, up 4.7% at 2,780 yuan a tonne, after rising as much as 5% earlier. Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian exchange, for January delivery, jumped 2.4% to 629 yuan a tonne.

Spot prices of 62% iron ore for delivery to China, compiled by SteelHome consultancy, inched up $0.5 to $105.5 on Tuesday.

Construction material steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange leaped 2.3% to 4,238 yuan a tonne. Hot rolled coils, used in cars and home appliances, rose 1.8% to 4,648 yuan per tonne. Shanghai stainless steel futures were traded 0.2% higher at 17,045 yuan a tonne.

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