Finished flat steel prices in India have been on an uptrend this week. Prices for Indian hot-rolled plates (HR plates) in export markets rose by a maximum of $30/mt on Tuesday from Monday, after which they remained firm on Wednesday. In the domestic markets, the prices rose by Rs500/mt in the same period, according to Davis Index sources. These prices are further expected to rise by at least Rs1,500/mt in the coming days.
The bullishness in prices was largely driven by a rise in input costs. Ferrous scrap prices, especially for the material coming from overseas markets, have been on an uptrend for over a week considering active trades in the Turkish market. Since the prior Friday, prices for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) have risen by around $6/mt to $266.25/mt cfr until Tuesday on the back of a rise in offers by suppliers. These prices were also supported by the recovering Chinese finished steel market. Chinese finished steel imports increased 46.7pc to 1.88mn mt in June from May, however, imports rose sharply by 98.7pc to nearly double from the prior June. According to customs data, China’s imports were the highest since October 2009.
Demand in China’s domestic market driven by the economic stimulus and rapid recovery post the pandemic boosted imports. Steel imports in China are likely to continue at similar levels in the second half of the year.
Long finished steel prices unchanged
Rebar prices in India, however, have largely been range-bound. Demand for rebar, which is extensively used in infrastructure and real estate sectors, has been hit by slow construction activities due to the ongoing monsoons in India. From July 1, rebar prices in Mumbai have fallen by Rs700/mt to Rs31,000/mt ex-works while in Raipur, they have fallen by Rs400/mt to Rs30,600/mt ex-works.