IRON and STEEL
India's domestic hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices increased this week as traders restocked.
Mills have been raising offers since the last week of December, but traders were waiting on the sidelines expecting a price correction that has not happened so far, and this reduced their inventories.
But demand from consumer sectors such as automobiles and construction has yet to pick up.
The Argus weekly assessment for HRC of 3mm thickness was at 37,500 rupees/t ($527/t) ex-Mumbai, up by Rs500/t from a week earlier. Offers by major integrated mills this week were at Rs37,000-38,000/t.
In southern India, markets went quiet with the week-long festivities of the Hindu festival Sankranti to be concluded on 17 January.
Prices of domestic coated steel also increased by Rs1,000/t because of a supply shortfall of thinner-gauge HRC, a substrate for coated products. Indian rerollers are looking to import thinner-gauge HRC as domestic mills are exporting more rerolling grade HRC to southeast Asian markets, said the Mumbai-based manager of a large mill.
This week, offers for galvanised sheet of 0.8mm thickness with zinc coating of 80 grammes/square metre (gsm) rose by Rs1,000/t to Rs49,000/t ex-Mumbai. Galvanised sheets of similar thickness with higher zinc coating of 120gsm were offered Rs1,000/t higher at Rs53,000/t.