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BEIJING: China’s Shanghai steel futures dropped on Thursday, with construction rebar falling more than 3%, as government controls on steelmaking raw materials weighed on prices of steel products.

The most-traded steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, used in the construction sector, fell as much as 3.2% to 4,622 yuan ($731.64) per tonne. They ended down 2.9% at 4,637 yuan a tonne.

The country’s state planner on Wednesday asked ports and iron ore traders to avoid “excessive hoarding” of the ingredient.

It has also probed “abnormal trading behaviours” of thermal coal and set a “reasonable” price range for the benchmark 5,500 kcal coal at Qinhuangdao Port, according to a news conference.

“Recent regulatory adjustments on ore and coal prices are relatively frequent, the policy risks have not been fully released,” Haitong Futures said in a note.

Hot rolled coils futures on the Shanghai bourse, for May delivery, slipped 1.9% to close at 4,804 yuan a tonne.

China’s housing minister pledged to keep the real estate market stable this year and ensure that genuine demand for homes is met.

Haitong Futures said it expected steel prices to fluctuate amid demand optimism following easing property market woes and raw material curbs.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was traded within a tight range and closed up 0.4% at 703 yuan per tonne. Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China fell $1 to $140.5 a tonne on Wednesday, data compiled by SteelHome consultancy showed. Dalian coking coal futures dipped 0.5% to 2,635 yuan a tonne and coke prices faltered 0.7% to 3,392 yuan per tonne.

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