China’s hot-rolled coil prices surged to a 12-year high on Thursday April 22, triggered by emissions control policy changes in Handan city in northern China.
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۵۸۰-۵,۶۰۰ yuan ($859-862) per tonne, up 80 yuan per tonne
Handan city, the second steel hub in Hebei province, had called on steel mills to implement emissions reduction measures by April 30 and stick to them until the end of the second quarter, according to domestic news reports on Thursday.
The news boosted sentiment in the steel sector, with market participants expecting mills in Handan to cut output to ensure lower carbon emissions.
Spot sellers raised their offers significantly following futures gains, a Shanghai-based trader said.
But trading activity was weaker than on Wednesday, with downstream buyers unable to accept such big gains in one day.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۸۸۰٫۲۰ per tonne, up $4.42 per tonne
Sources told Fastmarkets that Inner Mongolia-based Baotou Iron & Steel was offering HRC at $890 per tonne fob on Thursday, after having sold nearly 10,000 tonnes at $880 per tonne fob earlier this week.
A Zhejiang-based trader said the mill mainly sold to Vietnam and the Middle East.
He added that some traders could still get HRC at around $870 per tonne fob from a private mill in northern China, but such goods were not mainstream products in China’s export market.
A second private mill in northern China was heard to have sold nearly 10,000 tonnes of HRC at around $920 per tonne fob recently to South America, but a source said the exported goods had special specifications.
Profits at HRC exporters have been higher than those of domestic sellers for some time, mainly due to the high export prices, sources said, because global steel output has been limited by the Covid-19 pandemic and many producers are still hesitant about resuming production.
Despite high steel prices, many producers remain unconvinced about the long-term performance in the steel market, given that the global economy has been hurt by the pandemic, a second Shanghai-based trader said.
Market chatter ***
“I have to say that, even if steel producer profits are already very high, limited output or news to suggest possible output cuts have been bolstering steel prices. And if things continue, China’s steel prices could surpass the previous record reached in 2008,” a Taiwan-based trader said.
Shanghai Futures Exchange ***
The most-traded October HRC futures contract closed at 5,552 yuan per tonne on Thursday, up by 68 yuan per tonne from Wednesday.
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