China’s Jiangsu Shagang Steel has lowered rebar prices for late-August (Aug 21-30) deliveries by CNY150/mt ($23.15/mt) from mid-August, while listed retail prices remained unchanged for other finished flat steel products including HRC. Earlier, the steelmaker had reduced prices by CNY200/mt for long products for mid-Aug deliveries as domestic demand softened.
After the recent revision in prices, the listed price for rebar (HRB400,16-25 mm) has dropped to CNY5,470/mt ($868/mt) ex-works for late-August (21-30 Aug) deliveries, down by CNY150/mt from mid-August (11-20 Aug) deliveries. Offers for wire rod (HPB300, 8mm) also dropped by CNY150/mt to CNY5,810/mt ($897/mt) ex-works, inclusive of 13pc VAT.
Rebar inventories across steelmakers and social warehouses in China stood at 11.36mn mt on Aug 19, down by 121,000mt or 1.1pc from a week ago.
Shagang steel’s retail prices for late-August shipments
|Shagang Steel’s Retail Prices for Late-Aug shipments|
|Products||Grade||CNY/mt||Change over mid-Aug|
In the domestic market, Q235 150mm billet prices fell by over CNY200/mt in 10 days as raw material prices declined. Chinese billet prices dropped to CNY4,930/mt ex-Tangshan, including VAT on August 24. However prices rose by CNY20/mt from the previous day.
In the overseas market, China was absent from bulk purchases while Southeast Asian markets took longer to recover. Offers from Southeast sellers dropped as low as $635/mt fob or equivalent cfr levels below $650-660/mt cfr China.
The steelmaker kept finished flat steel prices flat after increasing them in early August amid firm global prices. Offers for HRC Q235B were at CNY6,330/mt ($977) ex-works while Asian billet export offers dropped at $900-910/mt cfr Vietnam. Piled-up inventories added to bearish sentiments.
Iron ore prices rebound fueling hopes
Spot iron prices tumbled by over $30/mt in the last two weeks to reach $128/mt cfr China. Spot iron ore price index for 62pc Fe recovered to $148.6/dmt cfr North China on Aug 24, an increase of $12.10/mt in a day amid strict production cuts. With a decline in COVID-19 cases, operations resumed at various ports including Ningbo container port in China. Met coke prices and futures rose due to trade tensions between Australia and China.
Following lowered consumption of ferrous scrap due to production cuts and falling steel prices, Shagang steel reduced ferrous scrap bids thrice in August. The company lowered scrap buying price by CNY50/mt ($7.70/mt) for all grades, effective from Aug 19. Domestic scrap buying price for (HMS 6-10mm) dropped to CNY3730/mt ($574.36/mt).