IRON and STEEL
Lead and Zinc
India's coated steel prices remained flat this week, as demand stayed slow after the festive season ended in October.
Demand for coated sheets was slow from sectors such as automobiles and consumer durables, as consumer spending was weak, said the manager of a Delhi-based mill.
Traders have been looking for an uptick in construction activity over the past few weeks that would drive demand for coated steel products used in applications such as roofing sheets and barricades.
But while a rise in construction activity is driving demand for local rebar sales, this demand is not trickling down to coated sheets, said a Delhi-based trader.
Recent policy measures to provide public funding for real estate projects have helped turn market sentiment positive but actual consumer spending is likely to pick up only gradually, said the manager of a Mumbai-based mill.
Galvanized sheet with 0.5-0.7mm thickness with zinc coating of 90-100 grams/m³ (gsm) was offered at 44,500 rupees/t ex-works this week, unchanged from last week. Galvanized sheets of similar thickness with lower zinc coating of 90-80 gsm were offered at Rs44,000/t.
Offers for thicker sheets of 0.8mm and above with higher zinc coating of 120 gsm were heard at Rs46,000/t.
Prices of colour-coated sheets with 0.5mm thickness and zinc coating of 100 gsm stayed at Rs50,000-51,000/t.
Mills are now offering heavy discounts up to Rs1,500/t ($21/t) to attract buyers. Prices of coated steel products have dropped by about Rs5,000/t over the past month.
This lull in coated demand is likely to continue for a couple of months, a Mumbai trader said. Demand may pick up slightly in January-March, the final quarter of the financial year, he said.