Japanese electric arc steelmaker, Tokyo steel manufacturing has hiked finished steel prices by JPY10,000-17,000/mt ($92-156/mt) or 9.5-17.6pc for June shipments to match global steel prices. Expectations of a stronger domestic demand also supported the price hike.
The mill raised ferrous scrap purchase prices by JPY1,500/mt ($13.77/mt) for all grades delivered to its Tahara and Kyushu factories and by JPY1,000/mt($9.18/mt) for all the grades in Okayama, Utsunomiya, and Takamatsu factories. Revised bids for #2 HMS are at JPY51,500/mt at Tahara, JPY50,000/mt at Okayama and Kyushu, JPY48,000/mt at Utsunomiya, and JPY48,500/mt at Takamatsu, on a delivered plant basis. Scrap supply continues to be tight in Japan. Logistic challenges and demand for high-grade scrap in East and South-East Asia are boosting prices.
The weekly Davis Index for domestic Heavy A rose, Tuesday, by KRW5,000/mt ($4.43/mt) to KRW480,000/mt ($425.20) delivered Incheon. Major steelmakers bought domestic heavy A scrap at KRW475,000-KRW490,000/mt delivered to Incheon and Pohang mills.
In the Pohang region, prices for domestic scrap rose by KRW5,000/mt delivered. The weekly Davis Index for domestic Light A grade settled at KRW460,000/mt delivered Pohang, up KRW5,000/mt. While the weekly Davis index for domestic Heavy A, Tuesday, increased by KRW2,500/mt to KRW487,500 delivered Pohang.
South Korean mills opted for domestic scrap over imported as offers kept rising.
Profit margins are widening for electric furnace-based flat steelmakers. Mills are targeting above $1,030-$1,050/mt for HRC exports.
The weekly Davis Indexes for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by TWD600/mt ($21.5/mt) to TWD12,900/mt and TWD12,700/mt delivered Northern and Southern mill, respectively.
In seaborne markets, the daily Davis Index US-origin containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) increased by $4/mt to $474/mt cfr.
Taiwanese mills believe billet prices could rise in China’s domestic market. Offers for Southeast and East Asian billet at $750/mt cfr China.
Feng Hsin, Monday, raised domestic scrap purchase prices by TWD600/mt while hiking rebar prices by TWD900/mt from the prior week to TWD20,900-21,000/mt ex-works.
Also, Indonesian billet offers to Taiwan heard at $765/mt cfr.
The weekly Davis Index for the HMS (80:20) rose to CNY4,150/mt ($646/mt) delivered mill, up CNY400/mt. Shagang steel after raising prices for HMS scrap in the range of CNY4,100-4,300/mt delivered mill announced a price cut by CNY50/mt on Monday in line with a drop in domestic billet prices in Tangshan.
Spot iron ore prices for 62pc Fe rose to $217/mt cfr China on Monday, up $7.5/mt. On Tuesday, iron ore futures continued their uptrend rising another 5-7pc after a sharp drop last week. Futures for rebar and HRC, however, showed limited upward movement due to the government’s serious stance against high steel prices. Meanwhile, major Chinese mills continued to produce steel at a record pace boosting sentiments for the iron ore and ferrous scrap markets.
Amid falling inventories and optimism on sustaining demand, prices are likely to stay firm. Spot steel prices continued to drop amid high inventories and a dip in steel futures on Monday. Billet prices, Tuesday, fell by another CNY70/mt to CNY5,470/mt ($851/mt) ex-Tangshan including 13pc VAT.
The weekly Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in Vietnam rose VND50,000/mt to VND10,800,000/mt ($468.73/mt) delivered Southern mill. After Baosteel revised HRC offers to above $1,000/mt ex-works, Vietnamese HRC and long steel producers including Hoa Phat and Formosa could raise prices in the coming days.
Vietnamese mills, who were largely away from imported ferrous scrap trades last week, could resume bookings by paying $25-30/mt higher than prior deals.
In the container market, offers for FEUs of HMS 1&2 (80:20) remained in the range of $475-490/mt cfr Vietnam, up by $5-10/mt from the prior week.
The weekly Davis index for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by THB75/mt to THB14,225/mt ($452.19/mt) delivered Rayong mill.
Thai mills focused on domestic scrap purchases amid increasing COVID-19 cases. The gap between domestic and imported scrap has widened after offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) heard at $450-46/mt cfr Thailand, up $15-20/mt from the prior week.
The weekly Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose MYR25/mt to MYR1,905/mt delivered eastern mill and up MYR25/mt to MYR1,875/mt delivered western mill. Malaysian furnaces have decided to wait for clarity on the global trends after a sharp rise in iron ore prices in China. Meanwhile, Singapore is under lockdown for a month.
($1= JPY109.04; TWD27.95; CNY6.42; THB31.45; MYR4.13; VND23040.88; KRW1,128.60)