Chinese steelmaker Baosteel has increased prices for finished flat steel by CNY50-200/mt ($7-30/mt) for October. Chinese blast furnace maker has raised domestic ex-factory prices for hot-rolled (HR) and cold-rolled (CR) products by CNY50/mt ($7/mt) and CNY200/mt ($30/mt), respectively.
The steelmaker has maintained uptrend in cold-rolled coil (CRC) prices which had upped by CNY260/mt in September while hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices witnessed a small hike of CNY50/mt against CNY200/mt in September.
Rising gap between CRC and HRC
The utilisation rates for CR flat products remained high in China due to high demand from automakers. As a result, CR products’ demand was higher than that of HR products. The inventories of HRC remain high with local steelmakers whereas CRC inventories are fast depleting, widening the gap between the two to CNY600-650/mt.
Ansteel ups CRC prices
Steelmaker Ansteel increased prices of HRC by CNY50/mt and CRC by CNY300/mt for October shipments. In domestic market, HRC prices were reported at CNY4,050-4,080/mt ex-works while HRC prices were at CNY4,700/mt ex-works, respectively.
Domestic prices rose 0.3pc for HRC and 5.3pc for CRC from prior-month figures while export prices have upped 8.3pc and 13.8pc, respectively, as per local reports.
Iron ore prices at 6-year high
The spot price for imports of benchmark Fe 62pc content iron ore was up 1.40pc to $130.17/mt cfr Qingdao on September 14. Most market participants are expecting the mills to replenish inventory before the golden week holiday in October in China, which resulted in active trading at ports and prices reaching a 6-year high. The successive rise in raw material prices has forced steel mills to lift their steel prices sharply.
Korean mills struggle
As Chinese steel prices move up, South Korean steel mills including POSCO, Hyundai and Dongkuk steel likely to hike domestic prices to some extent. Demand from domestic downstream industries including auto and shipbuilding hasn’t recovered as expected. Japanese import prices remained cheaper while ongoing global economic uncertainties would limit the extent of price hikes.