IRON and STEEL
Indian Ferro Chrome prices fell again for consecutively five weeks in line with lacklustre stainless steel demand, prompting Stainless Steel producers to reduce production, and thereby adversely affecting demand for Ferro Chrome.
Producers reported that the market is more inclined towards the buyers’ side. Buyers are trying to bring market down as they are demanding material at much lower levels. Demand is also very low in the domestic as well as global market. Market participants believe that with China lowering down the prices, there is a pressure developing on the producers to lower prices further down. However, manufacturers are waiting for the upcoming Chrome Ore Auctions which were postponed to 17th May due to Cyclone Fani, and see if their cost of production comes down.
Domestic price for Ferro Chrome in India is assessed to be at INR 70,000/MT Ex-Jajpur. Export prices for CNF South Korea (10-50mm, HC 60%) is 81 cents/lb, for CNF Japan (10-50mm, HC 60%) is 82 cents/lb and for CNF China (10-150mm, HC 60%) is around 80 cents/lb.
On the future outlook, there is a very little chance of Ferro Chrome market to rebound in the near future. Any comments can be made only after the Chrome ore Auctions. Chrome Ore prices along with restricted demand for Ferro Chrome are keeping the producers far away from optimism.
Pellet offers for this week increased sharply in the recently concluded deals. SteelMint’s assessment stands at INR 6,900-7,000/MT (ex-Raipur, GST extra) against last week’s assessment of INR 6,600/MT. Current prices are hovering at 3-month high.
Sponge iron market seems to remain strong, as per manufacturers in central & eastern India. Rising raw material prices & active demand are likely to keep Indian sponge iron prices supported, they added.
SteelMint learned in recent conversations with industry participants that Pakistan’s steel market has turned uncertain after its currency hit record low levels.
Indian steel prices remain slightly surge by INR 100-400/MT on improved inquiries from the domestic buyers. The mid sized mills have raised Billet prices by INR 100-400/MT, Rebar by INR 100-300/MT & Sponge iron by INR 100-200/MT day on day in major markets.
SteelMint in conversation with market participants learned that Indian HRC import prices from Japan reported decline by USD 15-20/MT in recent booking for July shipments.
It seems that the Graphite electrodes shortage that has cropped up in China in the latter of 2017 amid closure of polluting GE units seems to settle out as considerable surge have been recorded in country’s electrodes production as well as exports for the first quarter of 2019.