China’s hot-rolled coil prices surged to their highest levels since July 2008 on Thursday April 1 amid significant fall in inventories.
Steel hot-rolled coil domestic, ex-whs Eastern China, yuan/tonne
Steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China, $/tonne
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۳۶۰-۵,۴۱۰ yuan ($818-825) per tonne, up 40-80 yuan per tonne
A Shanghai-based trader said he was mainly offering HRC at 5,360-5,380 yuan per tonne in the morning, while in the afternoon he could secure deals at 5,400-5,410 yuan per tonne amid robust demand.
HRC inventories in the spot market nationwide had fallen to 3.85 million tonnes in the week to to Thursday, down by 205,200 tonnes from the previous week, according to a domestic steel consultancy.
A second Shanghai-based trader said the figures echoed the fact that steel demand has been recovering after a speed-up in manufacturing activity.
China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in March, up from 50.6 in February, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۷۵۱٫۳۳ per tonne, down $0.34 per tonne
China’s HRC export remained quiet because of continuing talks about the country’s plans to cut its export rebate.
Rumors have been circulating in the market for a couple of months that China could cut the HRC export rebate to 4%, or 9% or remove it altogether. Currently, the rebate is set at 13%.
There had been no official statement on the rebate by the time of publication.
Several major mills were offering HRC at $750 per tonne fob this week, but they asked buyers to shoulder all the possible risks that could be incurred if the rebate was adjusted.
Northern China-based Yanshan Iron & Steel does not require buyers to take that risk, but its offer price is $850 per tonne fob.
Few bids were heard, with a Hong Kong-based trader saying his customers in Vietnam were bidding $805 per tonne cfr Vietnam for rerolling HRC from India.
Indian offers for rerolling HRC were at about $850 per tonne cfr Vietnam, a trader in Vietnam told Fastmarkets.
“Most mills have been focusing on the domestic market amid uncertainty over the export rebate. The strong domestic prices also motivate them to do so,” a Zhejiang-based trader said.
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded May HRC futures contract closed at 5,467 yuan per tonne on Thursday, up by 84 yuan per tonne from Wednesday.
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