Indian steel mills continued to remain the lowest priority for containerised scrap exporters. Buyers on the other hand focused on domestic alternatives like scrap and Sponge iron to meet their immediate requirements. Offers for imported scrap dropped by $10-15/mt in two days to check to buyers’ as a few traders with positioned cargoes are under pressure to sell.
The daily Davis Index for containerized shredded Wednesday settled at $450/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $5.63/mt. In March, shredded prices dropped by over $15/mt. With only a few buyers keen to refill inventories in India, most shredded supplies are being diverted to Bangladesh or Pakistan.
In Turkey, a major steelmaker sold 50,000mt bulk rebar order to Hong Kong-based buyers at $685/mt cfr basis on actual weight or $645/mt fob Turkey. While in recent bulk trades for HMS 1&2 (80:20), prices dropped below $455/mt cfr Turkey. Reflecting the trend, offers in the subcontinent dropped, but buyers decided to wait for a further drop.
The daily Davis Index for UAE-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, settled at $411/cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $4/mt. Buyers in North and West India continued to resist high offers and opted for domestic supplies. On Wednesday, a few offers for Dubai-origin HMS #1 and P&S were at $415-420/mt cfr Nhava Sheva with bids falling to $400-410/mt cfr Nhava Sheva.
The daily index for US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), Wednesday, dropped to $425/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, down by $2.5/mt. Suppliers are either focusing on domestic sales or opting for Bangladeshi buyers, who are bidding around $10-15/mt more than Indian mills.
Rebar demand bullish
In Mandi Govindgarh, ingot prices remained on an uptrend following sustained demand for rebar. Rebar sales remained active in Mumbai as construction projects picked-up.
Shipbreaking melting scrap prices in Alang, Wednesday, recovered by Rs500-600/mt to Rs30,900-31,000/mt ex-Alang. Ingot prices rose to Rs39,900-40,000/mt ex-Mandi, keeping scrap demand bullish. Indian mills are expected to resume trades for imported scrap actively in late March due to limited inventories and possible short supply of domestic scrap. Presently, only UAE and West African origin HMS trades are happening while offers from the rest are higher by at least $15-20/mt and have remained non-acceptable.
In China, Baosteel announced a hike in HRC prices by CNY300/mt for April shipments. However, steel futures continued their downtrend with the outlook turning uncertain. Authorities have proposed that iron ore prices should be adjusted with an extension in Tangshan production cuts. On Wednesday, imported iron ore with 62pc Fe content recovered marginally to $164.5/mt cfr North China. Domestic billet prices in the retail market dropped further by CNY40/mt from Tuesday to CNY4,300/mt ex-Tangshan, including VAT.
Indian primary steelmakers switched to export markets to use-up finished inventories. Primary makers competed with secondary producers to sell rebar and billet in the export market. Chinese billet importers have lowered their bids in the range of $580-590/mt cfr China against offers of $600-610/mt cfr early this week.
On Wednesday, the daily Davis Index for containerized shredded dropped to $452.21/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down by $5.35/mt. The daily index for containerized US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled at $431.88/mt cfr Indian subcontinent, down $2.01/mt from Tuesday. Container availability is still low, but container freights have remained flat this week.