China’s hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices gained further after hitting their highest since July 2008 in March, although trading activity weakened from Friday April 1, sources said.
Eastern China (Shanghai): 5,540-5,560 yuan ($844-847) per tonne, up 40-80 yuan per tonne Spot market sellers raised offers on Tuesday, the first trading day after the three-day Qing Ming Festival holiday, leading to futures gains, sources said. One Shanghai-based trader said spot market trading weakened from last Friday but demand overall remained strong because some downstream buyers rushed to restock in fear of further price gains. HRC prices in Tangshan are higher than those in Shanghai with a mill in Tangshan selling at around 5,580 yuan per tonne, a Tianjin-based trader said. Demand in northern China was mainly bolstered amid construction and manufacturing development, the same trader added.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $780.42 per tonne, up $0.95 per tonne One source at east China-based Shagang Group told Fastmarkets that they are offering $780 per tonne fob this week but buyers need to shoulder all the possible risks that could be incurred if the export rebate is adjusted. Talk has been circulating in the market for a couple of months that China could cut its HRC export rebate to 4% or 9% or remove it overall from the 13% it is at currently.
A Vietnam-based trader heard China Baowu Steel Group offering re-rolling HRC at $970 per tonne cfr Vietnam, equivalent to around $935 per tonne fob China. Such prices were heard to have already incorporated the possible rebate cut and buyers do not have to shoulder risks relevant to that, sources told Fastmarkets. China’s HRC export market remained quiet on Tuesday April 6 amid such high offers and rebate uncertainty. An Indian mill was heard offering re-rolling HRC at $920 per tonne cfr Vietnam on Tuesday after Vietnam-based buyers paid around $850 per tonne cfr Vietnam the week prior.
*** Market chatter
“I think growth in China’s HRC prices could slow down in the next few weeks. Such high prices have led to minimal profit for downstream buyers so they’re forced to restock in fear of further HRC price gains but if they have no money to make, they could slow down operations and HRC buying,” a second Shanghai-based trader said. Shanghai Futures Exchange The most-traded May HRC futures contract closed at 5,566 yuan per tonne on Tuesday, up by 10 yuan per tonne from Monday.
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