The domestic market for flat steel in Russia’s Central Federal District around Moscow was largely stable in the week to Monday June 21, with most sources expecting either a rollover or even a downward correction in the short term, Fastmarkets heard.
Buying activity in the region slowed, partially affected by a weaker export market and unclear sentiment.
A new spike in the numbers of Covid-19 cases in the region, and the so-called “long weekend” announced by Moscow’s authorities for June 15-19, had little effect on steel market activity, however, according to sources.
“Only non-essential businesses were ordered to close. We continued to operate as usual,” one trader said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-rolled sheet, domestic, cpt Moscow, Russia, was 104,000-106,000 roubles ($1,428-1,455) per tonne on June 21, including 20% value-added tax, widening upward from 104,000-105,000 roubles per tonne cpt the week before.
July HR sheet from Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) and Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) was offered to the market in the range of 105,000-106,000 roubles per tonne cpt, sources said, largely stable month-on-month.
At the same time, offers from Severstal were higher – 109,000 roubles per tonne, up from 104,000 roubles per tonne for June HR sheet. This price was not included in the assessment because buyers did not consider it workable.
Buyers estimated the workable level in the range of 104,000-106,000 roubles per tonne this week.
In the secondary market, HR sheet from large traders was on offer at 109,000-111,000 roubles per tonne on June 21, the same as the week before.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled (CR) sheet, domestic, cpt Moscow, Russia, was 118,000-120,000 roubles per tonne on June 21, the same as in the previous three assessments.
One source reported a CR sheet offer from NLMK at 120,000 roubles per tonne delivered, the same as in June.
Buyers estimated a workable level between 118,000 and 120,000 roubles per tonne, sources said, the same as last week.
One source reported CR sheet on offer from Severtsal at 126,000 roubles per tonne, but this was not confirmed by other sources.
The market was still awaiting new offers from local mills, and counting on a stabilization.
In the week to Monday, only United Metallurgical Company (OMK) gave a firm offer of July plate – 105,000 roubles per tonne, the same as for June material.
“We expected an offer from Asha Steel and MMK at 104,000-105,000 roubles per tonne delivered as well,” a second trader said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel plate, domestic, cpt Moscow, Russia, remained at 104,000-105,000 roubles per tonne on June 21, flat week on week.
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