BEIJING: Chinese steelmaking raw materials fell on Monday as demand remained weak, with coking coal and coke prices tumbling about 4%, while benchmark iron ore futures slipped after logging gains last week.

Weekly steel production at China’s major steel firms stood at 8.9 million tonnes last week, down 2.5% from a week earlier, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

“Average daily molten iron output remained at historical lows ... however, coke inventories at mills are higher than same period in previous years,” analysts with SinoSteel Futures wrote in a note.

With crude steel production control policy likely to be continued in the mid- and long-term, coking coal prices have further room to decline and coke demand will be hard to recover to high levels, said the note.

The most actively traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for May delivery fell as much as 3.6% to 2,203 yuan ($345.88) per tonne. They were down 2.8% to 2,222 yuan a tonne as of 0243 GMT. Coke futures on the Dalian exchange declined 4.1% to 3,002 yuan a tonne, after shedding 4.8% earlier during the session.

Benchmark iron ore dropped 1.9% to 693 per tonne, reversing the gains in both the futures and the spot market last Friday.

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