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BEIJING: Chinese coking coal futures fell for a second straight session on Friday, and were on course to log a second weekly loss after the country temporarily lifted import tariffs for the steelmaking material in an attempt to secure supply.

The most-active coking coal on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for September delivery, was down 1.8% at 2,775 yuan ($418.00), as of 0330 GMT. They are set to decline 7.5% this week. Coke prices slipped 1.1% to 3,513 yuan a tonne.

The state council on Thursday cut import tariffs for all types of coal to zero from May 1, 2022 until March 31, 2023, as Beijing aims to ensure energy security amid soaring global prices and supply disruption concerns.

“The zero import tariffs will help more coal to come in China, but the impact on imported cost is limited,” analysts with SinoSteel Futures said in a note, adding that Renminbi’s recent depreciation could offset falling import costs from the new policy.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian bourse jumped 2.5% to 855 yuan a tonne, tracking spot 62% iron ore, which gained $1 to $140.5 per tonne on Thursday amid recovering production at mills. Capacity utilisation rates at blast furnaces of 247 steel mills across the country rose to 86.57% this week from 86.35% the week earlier, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

Steel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange traded range-bound, with construction material rebar for October delivery and hot-rolled coils both up 0.3% to 4,843 yuan a tonne and 4,935 yuan a tonne, respectively.

Shanghai stainless steel futures dipped 0.8% to 19,325 yuan per tonne. A Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping on Friday said China would help COVID-affected industries, step up infrastructure construction and support healthy development of property market.

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