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BEIJING: Chinese ferrous futures fell on Friday, with steel prices losing more than 2%, as production at mills and consumption were hit by the country’s most severe COVID-19 wave since the Wuhan outbreak.

Weekly apparent consumption of main steel products in China stood at 9.6 million tonnes this week, down 3% from the week earlier, according to Reuters calculation based on production and inventory data compiled by Mysteel consultancy.

Construction material steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, declined 2.5% to 4,962 yuan ($779.74) a tonne, as of 0315 GMT, and was down 3.6% for the week.

Hot-rolled coils futures, used in cars and home appliances, slipped 2% to 5,137 yuan per tonne and was down 3.2% for the week. Stainless steel prices on the Shanghai bourse, for May delivery, faltered 3.2% to 19,950 yuan a tonne.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, slipped 2.5% to 890 yuan a tonne and was set to decline 3.3% this week. Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China, assessed by SteelHome consultancy, declined $2.5 to $157 a tonne on Thursday.

“Impact on finished product demand and raw material transportation from this round of pandemic outbreak still continues, short-term demand (for iron ore) is hard to rise significantly,” Haitong Futures wrote in a note.

However, iron ore consumption could increase if the COVID situation is well controlled and construction activities recover in the second quarter, it added. The most-traded May contract of coking coal was down 1.4% to 3,183 yuan a tonne and coke prices slid 1.2% at 4,019 yuan per tonne.

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