Domestic scrap and steel markets showed signs of softening this week. Ingot prices in Mandi Gobindgarh opened at Rs35,500/mt ex-works to decline by Rs300/mt during the day. The decline also dragged ferrous scrap prices down. The daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) declined by Rs500/mt ($6.75/mt) to Rs24,200/mt ($326.84/mt) del Mandi Gobindgarh mill as mills have enough inventories to sustain production for the next few weeks. The index for sponge iron, however, rose by Rs250/mt to Rs27,150/mt del mill.
In Ludhiana, the bi-weekly indexes for Sponge iron and HMS 1&2 (80:20) both declined by Rs950/mt Rs27,700/mt delivered Ludhiana mill and Rs26,000/mt delivered mill, respectively. Farmers in North India ended rail-blockades facilitating the movement of material. But with a few mines in Orissa opening, Sponge iron prices could start a downtrend in the coming days.
Some experts believe India could be riding the second COVID-19 wave. Five states, including Gujarat, have thus imposed night curfews. There has been no court decision, however, on the Delhi state government’s plea for immediate lockdown.
Although there has been no confirmed lockdown announcement in Maharashtra, its fear has dampened market sentiment. In Mumbai, the daily Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) fell by Rs400/mt to Rs25,100/mt delivered mill, with a few deals at the index price. The daily Davis Index for Sponge fell by Rs350/mt to Rs25,600/mt del mill.
The Maharashtra government plans to make the COVID-19 test mandatory for those travelling to the state from some affected states. If enforced, this could hamper logistics. Mills in Jalna have therefore stocked up material. Still, the bi-weekly index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) dropped by Rs1,000/mt to Rs25,200/mt del Jalna mill, while the index for Sponge iron increased by Rs1,450/mt to Rs25,200/mt del Jalna mill.
In Chennai, the bi-weekly index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) rose by Rs175/mt to Rs25,550/mt del Chennai mill in line with rising imported scrap prices. The index for sponge iron rose by Rs800/mt to Rs25,550/mt del Chennai.
The bi-weekly Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) fell by Rs50/mt to Rs25,300/mt del Jaipur mill, while the index for Sponge iron declined by Rs800/mt to Rs26,950/mt del mill.