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BEIJING: Benchmark iron ore futures in China jumped more than 5% on Friday, rebounding from two sessions of losses, as tight supplies and demand recovery at mills shored up prices.

Iron ore shipments from Australia and Brazil stood at 22.45 million tonnes last week, down 567,000 tonnes from a week earlier, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

Meanwhile, analysts noted that short-term demand for the steelmaking ingredient is picking up “obviously” recently.

“Boosted by positive macro policy, downstream consumption is improving, while profits at long-process steel plants are decent. There’s further restocking demand at mills in the later period,” according to a note by SinoSteel Futures.

The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, jumped as much as 5.9% to 839 yuan ($132.66) a tonne in morning session. They were up 1.5% to 804 yuan per tonne as of 0330 GMT.

Dalian coking coal futures jumped 2.2% to 3,082 yuan a tonne and coke prices inched 0.1% higher to 3,673 yuan per tonne. “Coke futures prices are relatively strong, underpinned by demand recovery expectation and costs,” said SinoSteel Futures.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed. Construction used steel rebar edged up 0.1% to 4,878 yuan a tonne and hot rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, increased 0.7% to 5,104 yuan a tonne.

Stainless steel futures, for April delivery, extended losses into the third straight session and dropped 4.1% to 19,140 yuan a tonne, as Shanghai nickel futures dived to a 17% trading limit after resuming trade on Friday. For the whole week, stainless steel prices are set to rise 1.9% amid raw material nickel price volatility.

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