Billet and ingot prices in India gathered steam on Thursday after staying under pressure early this week. Secondary mills have diverted almost all of their oxygen supplies for medical use as hospitals deal with an acute shortage. Inventories for semi-finished steel with most mills have started to dip. Long steel prices were flat in Chennai, Mumbai and Raipur but increased in some parts like Durgapur and Kutch, largely driven by the rise in steel semis.
In Durgapur, the bi-weekly index for rebar rose by Rs800/mt ($10.66/mt) from Tuesday to Rs46,300/mt ($617.09/mt) ex-works while the index for billet was up by Rs600/mt to Rs41,500/mt ex-works. The daily Davis Index for billet in Raipur was at Rs41,700/mt ex-works, up by Rs700/mt, while the index for rebar remained unchanged at Rs46,500/mt ex-works.
In Mumbai, the daily index for rebar settled unchanged at Rs49,300/mt ex-works, while that for billet was at Rs44,000/mt ex-works, up by Rs1,000/mt. Mills stated that market conditions are uncertain. With sales taking a hit amid slowed activities by steel end-users, cash flow has become a problem for most small and medium-scale mills. Even after the end of the lockdown, the market could take a few days to stabilize, said steelmakers.
In Mandi Gobindgarh, the daily index for ingot rose by Rs800/mt to Rs43,900/mt ex-works amid shortage resulting from production cuts.