Indian HRC prices fall amid muted trade; rebar rises marginally

Indian hot-rolled coil prices continued to slip on Aug. 24 amid bearish sentiment due to muted trade, while rebar prices marginally increased despite sluggish demand in the market.

Platts assessed the spot price of IS2062, 2.5-10 mm thick HRC delivered to Mumbai at Rupees 56,500/mt, or $707.71/mt, excluding 18% Goods and Services Tax, Aug. 24, down Rupees 400/mt from the previous session, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

Prices in the domestic market extended the decline as muted demand amid subdued activity persisted,
sources said.

Weak end-user demand continued to keep prices on the lower side.

“Usually, the third and fourth quarter is good for steel in terms of demand, so that’s why people are expecting some improvement after Sept. 15,” a Mumbai-based trader said. “…prices are falling day in and day out in the domestic market,” the trader said.

Fears among market participants over further correction in prices going forward were exacerbated by likely imports of HRC material towards the end of August or the first week of September, sources said.

Everybody is trying to predict an improvement in the market but there are also imports coming in, so it won’t be easy,” the Mumbai-based trader said.

A western India-based trader said that prices will correct from current levels followed by a bounce back and subsequently stabilize.

A few sources said that declining international prices and fears of recession have weighed on sentiment across the globe, leading to bearishness across markets.

According to data from World Steel Association, global crude steel production declined 5.9% month on month to 149.3 million mt in July. However, steel production in India, the world’s second-largest producer, increased 1.4% on the month to 10.1 million mt in July, the data showed. The rise in production comes despite market talk that a few major primary steel manufacturers went for maintenance in July.

The spot price of IS1786 Fe500D/Fe550D 12-25 mm diameter rebar delivered to Raipur was assessed up to Rupees 100/mt on the day at Rupee 54,200/mt, Aug. 24. The assessment excludes 18% Goods and Services tax.

Secondary producers in the country increased their offers on Aug. 24, but demand in the market remained lukewarm, sources said.

Heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in certain parts of the country have restricted strong demand from bulk buyers.

A western India-based mill source said that flooding has made it difficult to transport the material, which also weighed on the demand for rebar.

“There are no major triggers for an increase in prices. Even next month is appearing sluggish for the market,” the mill source said.

Source: Steel Business Briefing Ltd