Chinese steel and iron ore futures are getting hosed, tumbling to multi-month lows

Photo: Rodrigo Arangua / AFP / Getty Images
  • Shanghai rebar is off 4.31% at 3,687 yuan a tonne — the lowest level since November 21.
  • Iron ore futures in Dalian atre sitting down 5.2% at 483.5 yuan a tonne.
  • Coking coal and coke future are losing 2.8% and 4.15% respectively.

Chinese steel and iron ore futures are still getting pummeled, continuing the slide that began in early March.

Here’s the scoreboard approaching the mid-session break on Friday.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,687 , -4.31%
DCE Iron Ore ¥483.50 , -5.20%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,304.00 , -2.80%
DCE Coke ¥2,046.50 , -4.15%

Shanghai rebar is off 4.31% at 3,687 yuan a tonne, the lowest level since November 21.

The May 2018 contract has now fallen 9% in six days.

Shanghai May 2018 Rebar Contract. Source: Thomson Reuters.

Iron ore futures in Dalian are also getting hosed, sitting down 5.2% at 483.5 yuan a tonne.

It has fallen by 13.1% over the past nine sessions, larger than the 10% level defined as a technical correction, and also sits at the lowest level since November 21.

Dalian Iron Ore May 2018 contract. Source: Thomson Reuters.

Coking coal and coke future are also getting hosed, losing 2.8% and 4.15% respectively.

The steel-led weakness follows the introduction of tariffs on US steel imports announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

According to Reuters, China’s steel and metals associations called on China’s government to retaliate against the US move on Friday, urging Beijing to take “resolute measures” against US imports ranging from stainless steel to coal and electronics.

“Trump’s behavior is a challenge to the global steel industry and will definitely encounter opposition from more countries,” the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said in a statement on its website.

“CISA appeals for the Chinese government to take resolute measures against imports of some US products including stainless steel, galvanized sheet, seamless pipe, coal, agriculture products and electronic products.”

While the losses coincide with the formal announcement of the tariffs, high steel inventories and record iron ore port inventories in China have also been cited as catalysts to spark the recent move lower.

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