Spot prices for hot-rolled coil in China dropped on Friday September 24 after futures prices fell for a second day on growing demand concerns, sources told Fastmarkets.
Eastern China (Shanghai): 5,680-5,720 yuan ($879-885) per tonne, down by 40-60 yuan per tonne
Northern China (Tangshan) weekly assessment: 5,670-5,740 yuan per tonne, widening downward by 30 yuan per tonne
The most-traded HRC contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange touched a new three-week low of 5,502 yuan per tonne and posted another one-day loss of more than 100 yuan per tonne on Friday.
The loss came despite data from the China Iron and Steel Association released on Friday morning showing that steel output in China continued to fall in mid-September. Daily crude steel output from Cisa’s member mills averaged 1.99 million tonnes during September 11-20, down by 2.62% from the previous 10-day period and down by 7.19% from the same period last year.
Some pipe mills in northern cities of Tangshan and Tianjin have been required to suspend operations for five and 11 hours respectively. The restrictions will apply every day from September 22 and are due to tight electricity supplies, according to a report by a major local information provider.
This adds to demand concerns, which have offset support from shrinking output and have pushed prices lower, a Shanghai-based analyst said.
HRC prices in eastern China ended the week down by 50-60 yuan from last Friday’s 5,730-5,780 yuan per tonne.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $907.68 per tonne, down by $16.14 per tonne
The decline in domestic prices prompted trading houses and mills to lower their offers by about $10 per tonne on Friday, pushing the export index lower.
Privately-owned mills cut their offers for SS400 HRC from $910 per tonne fob China to $900 per tonne, while major mills did not issue offers.
Trading liquidity for Chinese HRC exports remained quiet on Friday, given the availability of cheaper resources in the international market.
“Risk aversion ahead of the weekend and a bearish outlook for demand contributed to today’s losses in HRC futures prices,” a Shanghai-based trader said. “But I see tightness in [China’s domestic] spot market after the National Day holiday, given the shrinking supply and recovering demand.”
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded January HRC contract closed at 5,511 yuan per tonne on Friday, down by 101 yuan from Thursday’s close.
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