Indian domestic prices remained flat for yet another day as markets stay shut amid the COVID-19 related lockdown in India. With the total number of cases crossing 500, prime minister Narendra Modi has extended the lockdown till April 14. Scrap trades have completely stopped.
The daily Davis Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled unchanged at Rs20,100/mt ($264.52/mt) del Mandi Gobindgarh. The daily index for sponge iron remained flat at Rs20,000/mt del Mandi Gobindgarh. Sponge iron manufacturing in the country has also taken a hit at present. Ever after the markets reopen, sponge iron producers are likely to face hiccups resuming production. These units prefer coal of South African origin for its quality. But with the government in South Africa also announcing a 21-day lockdown, coal prices are like to rise.
In seaborne trades, scrap consignments are at present are awaiting custom clearance at Inland Container Depots (ICD). Buyers shied away from collecting material due to logistical issues and cash crunch since trades have come to a grinding halt.
In Mumbai, secondary mills are shut since Monday. The daily index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled flat at Rs22,450/mt del Mumbai mills and the index for sponge iron remained unchanged Rs17,900/mt del mills.
The Indian steel ministry has sought permission from the cabinet chief secretary to ferry input material, which will avoid disruption in production.Further, they have also requested the government to allow a part of workforce to resume work. A drop in domestic demand and the depreciated Indian currency against the US dollar could encourage exporters to step in the markets after the lockdown ends. The Indian Rupee stood at Rs 76.11 against US$ 1on March 25 from Rs75.16 on March 19.
($1 = Rs76.17)