Rebar Futures Fall Most in a Week as Demand Drops Before Holiday

Jan 28, 2014 3:14 am ET

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar futures in Shanghai had the biggest one-day decline in a week as investor demand waned before the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Rebar for May delivery fell by 1.2 percent, the most since Jan. 21, to close at 3,431 yuan ($567) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Most-active prices, which declined on Jan. 22 to the lowest level since June, are down 3.9 percent in January, heading for a second monthly drop.

Financial markets in China will be shut from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6 for the break, when people traditionally travel back to hometowns, slowing construction work. A record 3.62 billion passenger trips may be made this Lunar New Year season, the government estimates. Open interest in the May-delivery contract, or the number of contracts outstanding, totaled about 1.2 million lots, the lowest since Oct. 31, bourse data show.

“Demand slowed approaching the holiday and most people are unwinding their positions to avoid uncertainties,” said Dang Man, an analyst at Maike Futures Co. in Xi’an.

Iron ore futures dropped 0.8 percent to close at 857 yuan a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. The steel-making commodity for immediate delivery was unchanged yesterday at $124.30 a dry ton, according to the Steel Index Ltd.

Spot rebar tracked by Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. retreated to 3,402 yuan a ton yesterday, the lowest level since July 11.

--Feiwen Rong. Editors: Sungwoo Park, Ovais Subhani