Shagang Jiangsu Group in China’s eastern region has hiked finished steel prices by CNY50-200/mt ($8-30/mt) for late November deliveries but kept its HRC and plate prices unchanged from mid-November.
Demand for long products remained healthy in the construction industry, pushing prices up amid depleting inventories. But with the decline in the futures market and easing iron ore supply, the price outlook for December was mixed. The winter in eastern China could halt the rally in the coming days. A few market participants still believe that demand could stay healthy till the Lunar holidays in February.
Effective Nov 21-30, Shagang will offer its local rebar (HRB400,16-25 mm) at CNY4,300/mt ($653/mt) ex-works, up CNY50/mt ($8/mt) from mid-November in the spot market after discounts. The company raised prices for wire rod (HPB300, 8mm) by CNY200/mt to CNY4,710/mt ($717/mt) ex-works. These prices are inclusive of 13pc VAT.
Following Shagang’s lead, other major steelmakers, including Yonggang Group and Zenith Steel Group, have also lifted their long steel prices by CNY130‑150/mt ($20‑23/mt) for late November deliveries. A few small-scale producer mills have lowered their rebar prices by CNY30/mt ($5/mt) to stay competitive amid indications of the demand slowing in the coming days.
|Shagang Steel’s retail prices for the end -November|
|Products||Grade||CNY/mt||Change against mid-Nov shipments|
|Rebar wire rod||HRB400||4850||200|
The retail price for HRC (Q235B) has been kept unchanged at CNY4,380/mt ($666/mt) ex-works since October-end deliveries. CRC prices too have remained flat for the last ten days. In the export markets, Chinese HRC prices ranged between $545-555/mt fob China, up by $10-15/mt from the mid-November deliveries.
Billet and Domestic scrap
After hitting an 18-months high, domestic billet prices came under pressure on Monday. Prices for Q235 150mm square billets were CNY3,590/mt ex Tangshan, down by CNY30/mt from late last week. Rebar futures fell by CNY65-70/mt on pessimism in the market.
Domestic scrap procurement prices in China reached a seven and half-year high amid strong demand. Shagang kept its steel scrap procurement prices firm to secure materials amid short supply. On Monday, domestic scrap prices ranged between CNY2,700-2,730/mt delivered mill, for HMS 6-10mm thickness.