UPDATE 1-Shanghai steel hits near 2-mth top after break on demand hopes

* Iron ore prices seen rebounding as Chinese restock

* China slowdown may get worse and last longer -World Bank

* India top court bans iron ore transport in Goa

(Updates rebar price; adds Goa transport ban, Aquila project)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

SINGAPORE, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Shanghai rebar steel futuresrose nearly 2 percent on Monday to the highest in almost twomonths as Chinese traders returned from a week-long break armedwith hopes demand in the world's top consumer will pick up asthe economy stabilises.

Steel's rise suggests prices of raw material iron ore arelikely to rebound this week, with Chinese mills also expected toreturn to the spot market to replenish stocks.

The most active rebar contract for January delivery on theShanghai Futures Exchange

hit a session high of 3,668yuan ($580) a tonne, its loftiest since Aug. 17. It closed up1.6 percent at 3,656 yuan.

Rebar outperformed other China-traded commodities, includingcopper and rubber, which drifted lower as a poor global economycast doubts on the outlook for raw material demand.

The World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts for theEast Asia and Pacific region and said there was a risk theslowdown in China, the world's No. 2 economy, could get worseand last longer than expected.

But a private sector survey showed China's services sectoractivity rebounded in September after hitting a one-year low inAugust.

Rebar is taking its cue from gains in spot steel prices inChina during last week's National Day break as traders look to abounce in demand.

The price of steel billet in China's key Tangshan area hadincreased to 3,340 yuan per tonne last week from 3,150 yuanbefore the holiday, said a Shanghai-based trader.

"The steel market had picked up during the holidays. Peopleare looking at an improvement in demand so we have this upbeatsentiment at the moment," the trader said.


Price offers for iron ore cargoes from top exporterAustralia rose between $1-$3 per tonne on Monday, according toChinese industry consultancy Umetal.

"People are pushing up prices hoping the market will begood. Steel prices are up and some mills are bound to restockafter the long holiday," said another trader in Shanghai.

"It will be a good start for the iron ore market this week,but whether the gains will be sustained I'm not sure."

Benchmark iron ore with 62 percent grade iron content

steadied at $104.20 a tonne for all of last week,but the second Shanghai trader said there's a chance the pricecould hit $110 today.

A cargo of Australian 57.7-percent grade Yandi iron orefines is on offer at a tender closing later on Monday, a HongKong trader said. The 210,000-tonne shipment was offered at theGlobalOre platform on Friday at $106 a tonne, with the best bidat $101, he said.

The Yandi grade was last sold at $99.50 per tonne before theChinese holiday, traders said.

Also likely to support prices, India's Supreme Court onFriday suspended transport of iron ore in Goa, the country's topexporting state, part of government efforts to address illegalmining.

Goa exports nearly all of its annual output of more than 50million tonnes.

India remains the third biggest exporter of iron ore to topmarket China after Australia and Brazil, although export andmining curbs have slashed shipments between January and Augustby nearly half from a year ago.

Iron ore prices struck a three-year low of $86.70 last monthas Chinese steel demand cooled, prompting miners to reviewexpansion plans. Aquila Resources

is scrambling to cutplanned spending on an Australian iron ore project after costestimates jumped by a quarter to A$7.4 billion ($7.6 billion),putting the investment at risk.

Shanghai rebar futures and iron ore indexes at 0703 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct ChangeSHFE REBAR JAN3 3656 +59.00 +1.64PLATTS 62 PCT INDEX 107 +0.00 +0.00THE STEEL INDEX 62 PCT INDEX 104.2 +0.00 +0.00METAL BULLETIN INDEX 106.46 +0.00 +0.00Rebar in yuan/tonne

Index in dollars/tonne, show close for the previous trading day

($1 = 6.2849 Chinese yuan)($1 = 0.9767 Australian dollar)(Editing by Himani Sarkar)

((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 3884)(ReutersMessaging: manolo.serapio.reuters.com@reuters.net))