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BEIJING: Chinese coking coal futures extended gains to a fourth session on Monday, surging more than 4%, as supply remained relatively low and demand was expected to recover further following the Lunar New Year holidays and the Winter Olympics.

Inventories of the metallurgical coal at 247 steel mills and 230 coking plants covered by Mysteel consultancy stood at 21 million tonnes last week, down 4% from a week earlier.

“With demand at downstream users recovering, coking plants are more willing to buy products,” analysts with GF Futures wrote in a note.

Resumption of production at blast furnaces and the use-up of Australian coal could keep supply tight in China, they said.

The most-active coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, soared 4.3% to 2,627 yuan a tonne, as of 0306 GMT, the highest since end-October 2021.

Coke prices on the Dalian bourse were up 2.8% at 3,363 yuan per tonne, after rising as much as 3.1% earlier in the day.

Benchmark iron ore futures rose for the first time in six sessions after regulators’ price containing measures last week. They inched up 0.4% to 678 yuan a tonne.

“As the Winter Olympics had finished, (steel) production curbs will continue to improve... (but) policies will still pressure iron ore prices in the short term,” said GF Futures.

Stocks of the steelmaking ingredients at Chinese ports stood at 160.95 million tonnes last week, data from SteelHome consultancy showed, rising 2.9% from a week earlier. Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7% to 4,764 yuan a tonne. Hot rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, inched 0.6% higher to 4,890 yuan per tonne.

Shanghai stainless steel futures, for April delivery, increased 0.6% to 18,785 yuan a tonne.

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