Chinese steel futures continued their retreat on Thursday, Kallanish notes. This is the third consecutive day that futures for both rebar and HRC have lowered.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange the January 2019 rebar contract closed at CNY 4,280/tonne ($622/t), CNY 76/t lower than Tuesday, while the same contract for hot rolled coil closed down CNY 67/t at CNY 4,226/t.

This leaves both futures now below the levels they were at following Monday’s surge but, in the case of HRC, still above where it was a week ago on 17 August.

Confidence in the domestic long steel market is still high, as indicated by the lack of export offers being accepted in nearby Asian markets for both wire rod and rebar (see related articles). With the January 2019 contract now the most traded in Shanghai, it may well be that steel sector confidence for the fourth quarter is now being replaced by some first quarter uncertainty.