Domestic hot-rolled coil prices in China extended their gains on Monday September 6, with the latest data showing a further drop in supply despite the advent of the September-October peak demand season.
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۸۰۰-۵,۸۵۰ yuan ($899-906) per tonne, up by 40-50 yuan per tonne
The China Iron & Steel Association said on Saturday that the daily crude steel output of its member mills averaged 2.05 million tonnes over August 21-31, down 3.99% from August 11-20 and 4.98% lower year on year.
Another report from Cisa released late on Friday showed that inventory levels of HRC, hot-rolled plate and sheet held by traders across 20 major Chinese cities stood at 1.85 million tonnes at the end of August, down by 90,000 tonnes (4.6%) from August 20.
Several mills’ maintenance plans in September, tightened production curbs for September-October in Hebei province’s Handan city and the ongoing environmental inspections in a few regions have raised concerns over a continued decline in steel supply in the coming month, bolstering prices, an analyst in Shanghai said.
Adding to these are plans to curb steel production during the November-March heating season that emerged during the day.
The increased concerns over supply sent the most-traded HRC contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange to a three-week high of 5,848 yuan per tonne on Monday afternoon, the analyst said.
Trading activity in the spot HRC market remained weak, however, following recent price gains, sources said.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۹۲۲٫۶۵ per tonne, up by $3.53 per tonne
China’s HRC export market remained quiet during the day, with traders indicating workable prices for SS400 HRC at a stable $910-930 per tonne fob.
Some traders believe that $925-930 per tonne fob are workable for most Chinese mills; the low end of the indication is based on domestic price equivalents.
A large privately owned mill in eastern China will exit the export market for the rest of the year. The mill has suspended exports since mid-August.
Vietnamese HRC traders said that news of China potentially extending production cuts into March 2022 was bullish for flat steel spot prices, and that it would continue to give more opportunities for Indian and Russian steel producers to make up for any shortfall in flat steel.
“While I see a low likelihood of Chinese authorities imposing export duties on HRC in the near term, buyers are unwilling to shoulder the risks,” a Hangzhou-based trader said. He added that the international flat market had been dominated by Indian and Kazakhstani cargoes of late.
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded January HRC contract ended at 5,822 yuan per tonne on Monday, up by 38 yuan per tonne from last Friday’s close.
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