Indian semi-finished market Friday dropped by Rs300-900/mt ($4.06-12.18/mt) amid panic about the spread of COVID-19 across the country. Many schools and college across India are closing for an early summer break as a measure to control the epidemic.
The daily Davis Index for rebar in Raipur settled at Rs32,300/mt ($437.12/mt) ex-works, down by Rs300/mt. Despite negative market sentiments, traded volumes were normal in Raipur.
The Davis Index for billet settled at Rs27,800 /mt ex-works Raipur, down by $100/mt from Thursday.
In Mumbai, the daily Davis Index for rebar fell by Rs500/mt and settled at Rs34,600/mt ex-works. Trades were thin as the region reported an increased number of COVID-19 cases. The daily Davis Index for billet in Mumbai dropped by Rs500/mt and settled at Rs30,000/mt ex-works.
Mills in Mandi Gobindgarh offered steep discounts to entice traders and stockist amid weak demand. Traders had delayed buying this week as they waited for prices to decline further. The daily index for ingot plunged by Rs900/mt to Rs30,050/mt ex-works Mandi Gobindgarh on Friday.
Pellet sponge iron prices in Raipur remained unchanged at Rs18,400-18,500/mt on Friday.
Ahead of summer vacation, construction activity is expected to pick up in India. In the near term, market participants expect steady demand from the construction sector, but if the COVID-19 virus spread continues, activities are likely to slow down. Traders and stockists are bracing for these uncertainties with leaner inventories.