Spot prices for hot-rolled coil in China gained some strength on Tuesday September 28, with futures rising for a second day amid a drop in production due to a power crunch in the country.
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۷۲۰-۵,۷۵۰ yuan ($886-890) per tonne, narrowed upward by 20 yuan per tonne
The most-traded HRC contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose for a second day, recovering some of last week’s losses.
Analysts said that steelmaking rates had fallen as a result of electricity curbs in part of China, which lent strength to steel prices in recent days.
Power supply constraints have spread to about 16 Chinese provinces, where a combination of high coal prices and certain local governments rushing to meet their annual energy savings targets before the year-end resulting in electricity supply being tightened to industries, according to local media reports on Monday.
Some traders have reported getting less supply from mills due to their lower production rates while others said they have yet to experience any change.
While spot HRC prices edged up, they were not as strong as HRC futures, which a Shanghai-based trader attributed to a less-than-stellar recovery in demand in September, which is a typically a peak consumption season for steel.
Sources said there were still no signs of any pre-holiday restocking in the spot HRC market despite the country’s October 1-7 public holiday to commemorate its National Day being just around the corner.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۹۱۰ per tonne, up by $0.81 per tonne
The export market remained quiet on Tuesday due to the less-than-competitive prices for Chinese HRC in the international market coupled with lingering concerns over a possible export tax for such products.
Trading companies indicated that $900-920 per tonne fob China were the best prices that they could offer. These are still much higher than competing offers from India, Russia and other countries.
Mills including Shandong Iron & Steel and Liaoning province’s Benxi Iron & Steel are staying out of the seaborne market for the week to September 30, with power shortages weighing on their operations and amid the central Chinese government’s discouraging tone with regard to steel exports.
“We will keep our export business suspended, given the central government’s stance on exports. Our company will try to prevent our steel exports from exceeding that of last year,” a mill source based in Beijing said.
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded January HRC contract ended at 5,671 yuan per tonne on Tuesday, up by 79 yuan from Monday’s close.
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