Spot prices for hot-rolled coil in China were stable on Monday October 25, with thin liquidity and volatile prices keeping buyers in wait-and-see mode, sources told Fastmarkets.
Eastern China (Shanghai): ۵,۵۵۰-۵,۶۰۰ yuan ($870-877) per tonne, unchanged
The most-traded HRC contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange resumed its decline on Monday, finishing the day at 5,180 yuan per tonne, which is its lowest closing price in four months.
Lingering panic across the markets weighed on steel prices, a Shanghai-based analyst said, with market sentiment remaining subdued following the broad-based decline last week caused by central government moves to rein in soaring coal prices.
The latest industry data did not help boost market sentiment. The China Iron & Steel Association (Cisa) reported on Monday afternoon that daily crude steel output from its member mills averaged 1.87 million tonnes on October 11-20, up by 0.08% from the previous 10-day monitoring period but down by 13.74% from the corresponding period last year.
Data from Cisa released on Saturday showed that inventories of HRC, HR plate and sheet held by traders in 20 major Chinese cities stood at 1.63 million tonnes as of October 20, down by 120,000 tonnes, or 6.9%, from 10 days ago.
Weakness in spot HRC trading liquidity in Shanghai appears to have continued this week, with activity muted in afternoon trading and losses in the futures contracts accelerating, traders said.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China: $۸۹۶٫۶۴ per tonne, unchanged
Mainstream offers for SS400 HRC from trading houses and mills held at $885-920 per tonne fob China on Monday.
Volatile domestic prices, meanwhile, deterred some traders from issuing offers.
Trading liquidity remained muted as Chinese prices were still uncompetitive compared to cargoes originating from Russia, India and other regions after recent declines.
“[HRC] inventories failed to fall sharply despite production cuts, indicating demand weakness and limited support [for prices] from fundamentals,” a second Shanghai-based industry analyst said. “Spot HRC prices [in China] are expected to remain weak, as market morale has taken a significant hit from Beijing’s intervention in coal prices.”
“The end of the traditional high season for the automotive and home appliance sectors, along with a slowdown in shipbuilding, all point to demand weakness,” a Jinan-based industry analyst said. “Steel prices are expected to remain weak, even as output continues to shrink in November.”
Shanghai Futures Exchange
The most-traded January HRC contract ended at 5,180 yuan per tonne on Monday, down by 128 yuan from last Friday’s close.
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