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BEIJING: Chinese coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange jumped on Wednesday, boosted by restocking demand at steel mills as supply of the materials is relatively tight ahead of Lunar New Year holidays.

“Demand for coke is relatively strong as utilisation rates at mills recovered after Tangshan lifted smog alert,” analysts with Haitong Futures wrote in a note, adding that steelmakers are piling up stocks amid concerns of logistics disruptions due to unfavourable weather and the pandemic situation.

Affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, transportation has slowed, while production at coal mines declined ahead of the Spring Festival holidays, leading to relatively tight supply of coking coal, according to the note. The most actively traded coking coal futures on the Dalian bourse gained 2.1% to 2,310 yuan ($363.03) a tonne at close. Coke prices rose as much as 2.3% to 3,210 yuan a tonne, before closing 0.3% lower at 3,130 yuan per tonne.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian exchange, for May delivery, jumped 1.3% to 725 yuan per tonne. Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China rose $1.5 to $129 a tonne on Tuesday, according to SteelHome consultancy.

Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 2.3% to 4,632 yuan a tonne. Hot rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, leaped 1.9% to 4,751 yuan a tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for February delivery, rose for the third straight session, ending up 3.2% to 18,145 yuan a tonne. China’s factory-gate prices rose 10.3% in December, slowing from November and failed market expectation following government measures to contain high raw material prices, data from the statistics bureau showed.

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