China’s Jiangsu Shagang Steel has raised its finished steel prices for early May deliveries (May 1-10) by CNY300-450/mt ($46-70/mt) from late April. The steelmaker has hiked prices of long products including wire rod, rebar and flat steel products, including hot-rolled coil. Chinese steelmakers and traders, however, would be away from bookings amid Labour day holidays and are expected to return post-May 5. Also, markets in Japan and Taiwan were in the golden week holiday mood.
Chinese export prices are expected to rise even further for rebar, wire rod and HRC after the cancellation of export tax rebate effective May 1. Exports may drop while imports are set to rise sharply, believe insiders.
Rebar (HRB400,16-25 mm) will be offered at CNY5,550/mt ($809/mt) ex-works for early May deliveries. Spot sales prices are unchanged after two successively hikes amid bullish global cues in April. Offers for wire rod (HPB300, 8mm) were unchanged at CNY5,350/mt ($825/mt) ex-works inclusive of 13pc VAT.
The steelmaker also lifted its finished flat steel prices following strong global cues. Offers for HRC Q235B at CNY6,030/mt ($931), up CNY450/mt ($69.5/mt) ex-works with export offers for HRC reaching $970-980/mt fob China.
|Shagang Steel’s retail prices for Early-May|
|Rebar wire rod||HRB400||5900||450|
In the domestic market, prices for Q235 150mm square billet settled at CNY4,990/mt ex-works Tangshan mills including VAT.
With import duty on billet imports from non-ASEAN suppliers dropped to zero effective May 1, many importers in China have turned active and booked over 50,000mt billets since May 1. Indian suppliers sold billets at $680/mt cfr China, demand has slowed in the last few days.
Iron ore prices decline after shooting up
Chinese spot 62pc iron ore prices scaled to $193.8/mt cfr north China prior week amid supply concerns and restocking ahead of Labour days holidays from May 1-5, but settled at $186.8/mt before closing for holidays. Demand for high-grade iron ore was active resulting in a record high spread between high-grade iron ore prices versus low grade.
Chinese consumers have increased consumption of ferrous scrap. Many EAF makers were in ‘active restocking’ mode as iron ore prices hit record highs, while the spread between finished steel and scrap improved.
Offers for P&S (HRS101) grade from Japan in small bulks rose to above $515-520/mt cfr China, up by $10-15/mt from a week earlier.
Strong demand is expected to boost globally ferrous scrap prices in the coming days, keeping Chinese steel prices elevated and driving the appetite for scrap imports from China.