China’s hot-rolled coil HRC prices tumbled on Monday April 12 amid a government call for stable commodity prices, but exporters raised their offers after a rise in trading activity last week.
Steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China, $/tonne
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۳۵۰-۵,۳۹۰ yuan ($817-823) per tonne, down 100-110 yuan per tonne
Sellers in the spot market had to lower their offers after sentiment was dampened by slumping futures.
Several domestic traders said they were expecting Chinese HRC prices to weaken after officials called for a stabilization of commodity prices to ensure downstream companies profit.
Liu He, a vice premier of China’s State Council, said late last week that the Chinese government would enhance efforts to ensure price stability, especially commodity prices.
Local media had reported about complaints from companies in many industries over the price growth for raw materials including steel.
Trading activity in China’s spot HRC market was moderate on Monday, a Shanghai-based trader said.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۸۷۵٫۲۶ per tonne, up $2.63 per tonne
While domestic prices fell, most mills kept their export offers high during the day.
A Hong Kong-based trader said northern China’s Tangshan Iron & Steel is offering HRC at $890 per tonne fob, which he said is among the lowest issued by major mills.
A source at eastern China’s Shagang Group said it was asking for $930 per tonne fob this week, while a Zhejiang-based trader said Rizhao Iron & Steel was offering its product at $920 per tonne fob.
These mills have factored in possible cuts to the country’s export tax rebate for steel products. As such, buyers will not need to shoulder any additional cost should the rebate be reduced as had been speculated for the past couple of months.
Market participants had been talking about the 13% rebate being reduced to 9% or 4% or even removed completely.
A second Shanghai-based trader said he found it hard to buy HRC at under $875-880 per tonne fob following the issuance of the latest offers.
A mill source in northern China told Fastmarkets that it was in no hurry to export because some mills had concluded a lot of transactions last week with buyers in Vietnam and South America.
Market chatter ***
“I heard that Vietnam’s Formosa Ha Tinh is raising its HRC offers based on high prices from China and India, which would make it hard for buyers to secure cheap cargoes. But the weakening domestic market in China might make the mill rethink this over the next few days,” the second Shanghai-based trader said.
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded October HRC futures contract closed at 5,265 yuan per tonne on Monday, down by 90 yuan per tonne from last Friday.
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