China’s Jiangsu Shagang Group has rolled over prices of its long and flat finished steel for mid-March. With the build-up of finished steel inventories at Chinese mills, most have rolled over prices to liquidate stocks first. With slow demand and production cuts in Tangshan steel region, supply is expected to remain tight, preventing prices from declining sharply.
Shagang Steel held rebar (HRB400,16-25 mm) prices for mid-March deliveries to CNY4,850/mt ($746/mt) ex-works, stable from early-March deliveries in the spot market. Offers for wire rod (HPB300, 8mm) remained at CNY4,960/mt ($763/mt) ex-works. These prices are inclusive of 13pc VAT. The steelmaker offered HRC at CNY5,200/mt ex-works. .
Shagang Steel’s retail prices for mid-March
|Shagang Steel’s retail prices for mid-March|
|Rebar wire rod||HRB400||5100|
In the domestic market, prices for Q235 150mm square billet jumped to CNY4,380/mt ex-Tangshan on Friday including VAT, up CNY80/mt. Chinese importers remained largely silent for trades. Indian exporters offered billet at $560-570/mt fob India.
In the spot market, iron ore ferrous content 62pc rebounded to $171.05/mt cfr north China on Thursday, up $6.35/mt from a day prior.
Following Shagang Steel’s lead, Yong steel kept prices unchanged for mid-March deliveries. However, Zenith Steel lifted rebar and wire rod prices by CNY50/mt each to CNY4,850/mt and CNY5,000/mt ex-works, respectively.
Recently, Chinese environmental minister inspected the Tangshan area and found excess production of steel from many obsolete blast furnaces. He announced a cut of 50pc in steel output at such plants. This has triggered another round of price hike in futures and physical prices. Chinese exporters remained silent with March shipments still being concluded in limited volumes.
Domestic scrap firm, import inquiries slow
The steelmaker’s bids for HMS were at CNY3,350-3,400/mt del Zhangjiagang city, Jiangsu province, including 13pc VAT, depending on thickness.
Chinese ferrous scrap importers are still unsure about the inspection process at Chinese ports. Most are still concluding small-tonnage deals on trial basis. Ferrous scrap imports inquiries continued, however, bids dropped by $10-20/mt from the prior week. Mills are exploring negotiations with sellers in Europe, Singapore and South Korea. Offers from Japanese suppliers rose to $480-490/mt cfr China for P&S equivalent scrap, down from $500-510/mt cfr China in the prior week.