Taiwanese steelmaker China Steel Corp (CSC) hiked its flat steel prices by NT$450/mt ($16/mt) for April deliveries — an increase of 1.7pc from March — due to high raw material prices. CSC’s prices were already behind the global prices, so it has tried to bridge the gap.
For Q2 2021 (April-June 2021) deliveries, the steelmaker hiked its flat and long products’ prices by NT$2,000-3,000/mt ($81-106/mt) — 8.3pc higher than Q1. The price hike was driven by the global cues and the anticipated rise in demand from the end-users. Generally, Q2 is the peak period for steel consumption in Taiwan.
|CSC’s Q2 2021 domestic sales prices|
|Products||Price hike in TWD/mt, Q-o-Q|
|Plate||2000 to 2500|
|Bar and wire rod||2,000|
|CR||2,500 to 2,800|
In Taiwan, the Directorate General of Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) and National Development Council (NDC) had raised the economic growth rate of 2021 to 4.64pc, driven by growth in local investments and export orders.
Global outlook positive
Global economies recovering in automobile, construction and home appliances sectors, also aided by the COVID-19 vaccination drives. The US government announced it will maintain the current monetary policy and had passed a $1.9tr COVID-19 relief package. Global steel demand in 2021 is expected to grow by 4.1pc and 5.5pc according to the World Steel Association and ArcelorMittal, respectively.
In China, in the first year of its 14th Five-Year Plan for economic and social development, it ia aiming for a 6pc GDP growth rate. Beijing is committed to reducing its steel output to fulfill its environmental protection targets and might reduce export rebate keeping steel prices upbeat in the short term.
Steel and raw material prices
Raw material costs have remained high worldwide with benchmark iron ore prices hitting a ten-year high, surpassing $178/mt cfr China in late-February — very close to the historical high of $194/mt cfr.
HRC prices in the US have surged to record high $1,400/mt ex-works and price in Europe rose above $900/mt. Amid the widening gap between the US-Euro HRC and the Chinese HRC prices, Chinese steelmaker Baosteel raised prices by CNY300/mt ($46/mt) for April shipments. Formosa Steel in Vietnam raised HRC prices by $45/mt for domestic May shipments. This trend is expected to catch-up with other Asian mills.
|CSC’s price hike for April domestic sales|
|Products||Price hike in TWD/mt, M-o-M|
|ES||600 to 1200|
CSC adheres to the modest pricing strategy in accordance with the market situation and competitiveness. For regular flat steel products, it announces monthly prices while for long products and plates used in the automotive sector, it announces quarterly prices.