In India, demand for imported ferrous scrap is still under pressure amid stringent movement restrictions in major states. But a few large-scale mills booked material aided by a strong steel export market.
The Indian government has mandated steelmakers to share their oxygen supplies with hospitals for serious COVID-19 patients. Mills with integrated oxygen production plants have ramped up their output, but melting operations have still dipped.
In the secondary steel sector, production has dropped by over 30-40pc in Maharashtra, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh after rolling mills slowed operations.
The weekly Davis Index for cast iron, rotors, and drums, Wednesday, settled at $468/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $12/mt. Offers for cast iron rotor drums were at $470-475/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $10/mt from the prior week. There is a wide gap between offers and buyers’ expectations of $455-460/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
Offers for containerized shredded from the UK/EU rose to $465-470/mt cfr Nhava Sheva,up by $5/mt after deals in Pakistan. The Davis Index for containerized shredded settled at $462.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3.25/mt from Tuesday. Deals under negotiations are very few but buyers could resume inquiries amid a shortage of ferrous scrap inventories.
The index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $437.5/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3.75/mt from Tuesday. The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $433/cfr Nhava Sheva, up by $3/mt. Offers for Dubai-origin HMS #1 were above $445/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. South India and Gujarat-based scrap-consuming steel mills are expected to book considerable volumes amid limited inventories.
On Wednesday, melting scrap offers in Alang dropped by Rs500-600/mt to Rs36,600-36,700/mt ex-yards. Many yards have been forced to shut operations due to oxygen shortage, and recycling activities at Alang came to a standstill.
In Mumbai, rebar prices marginally dropped by Rs300/mt to Rs49,200/mt ex-works, with trades for domestic HMS 1&2 (80:20) at Rs31,300-31,500/mt delivered mills. Stricter movement restrictions to contain the virus in Maharashtra has impacted inter-district transport and the availability of laborers.
In Chennai, demand increased for both domestic steel and imported ferrous scrap. Mills in Southern India targeted export opportunities. Billet offers were at Rs45,500/mt ex-works while rebar at Rs51,000-51,500/mt ex works, up Rs500-1,000/mt from the prior week, which supported trades for imported scrap. Dubai origin #1 HMS traded at $455/mt cfr Chennai, up by $5/mt from a day prior.
In China, spot iron ore prices rose to $193.8/mt cfr North China for 62pc Fe scrap content on Tuesday, up over $7-8/mt in the last two days on supply concerns.
To lower exports, the Chinese government has lowered export rebates of finished steel products including HRC, rebar, wire rods. The country also nullified import tax on billets from all non-ASEAN countries like India, South Kora, Russia from 2pc effective May 1 to aid their domestic markets. Steel prices in China could stay strong and support Indian mills to target better prices in the export markets.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Wednesday settled at $467.18/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $3.02/mt; while that for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) was at $443.41/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, up by $2.35/mt.