Mills in Vietnam have raised their HRC prices for January shipments. Amid indications of recovery in demand, mainly in the auto and construction sectors, mills have started to ramp up production. Aiding prices is also a strong demand for steel in China and Southeast Asian markets.
The global demand is likely to persist for two months at the minimum. A downtrend seems unlikely until the Lunar holidays, which commence on February 12, 2021, believe market participants.
Hoa Phat raises steel prices
Hoa Phat has ramped up its HRC production by making its new facility operational. The steelmaker aims to increase exports in the coming months. Its price for HRC grades SS400, SAE 1006 HRC are at VND12,700/kg ($545/mt) cfr Haiphong, VND12,750/kg ($547/mt) cfr central Vietnam, and VND12,800/kg ($550/mt) cfr Ho Chi Minh Port. The company shipped around 140,000mt HRC in November. The export quantity in January and February, however, is expected to lower to 70,000-80,000mt.
In October, Hoa Phat’s steel sheet products witnessed healthy growth, with sales volume doubling over the same period last year. Demand for galvanized and panel sheet products remained strong, especially from South Korea. In Jan-Oct, sales of steel sheet rose by nearly 150pc compared to the prior-year period.
Formosa HRC January shipments prices up by $25/mt
Late last week, Formosa Ha Tinh raised prices for base re-rolling skin-pass HRC (SS400) and pipe making for January shipments by $25/mt from December. Revised prices were $560-565/mt cif South Vietnam and $555/mt cfr North Vietnam.
The weakening of US$ has strengthened hopes for many importers, and China looks to increase its HRC exports to bank on this opportunity.
High raw material prices
Bulk ferrous scrap import prices stand at $335-340/mt cfr Vietnam for Japanese #2 HMS and HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the US west coast. Prices rose by around $40-50/mt in less than a month. On the other hand, benchmark Australian iron ore fines gained $1.5/mt to reach $125.5/mt cfr, the highest since October 9. Thus, high imported raw material prices also supported the hike.