Expectations of a supply drop have also improved sentiment in the spot market.
Steel prices in China have been on an upward climb since the end of the Lunar New Year.
Domestic hot-rolled coil prices in eastern China were at 4,000-4,020 yuan ($596-599) per tonne on Monday April 15 - the first time that they exceeded 4,000 yuan per tonne since November last year. These are about 400 yuan higher than prices in mid-January, when they fell as low as 3,620-3,630 yuan per tonne.
While export prices for the same product have experienced a similar trend - the Fastmarkets MB fob China HRC Index went from $479.30 per tonne on January 4 to $534.06 per tonne on Monday, an increase of about $55 per tonne - profit margins in the domestic market have been more lucrative for steelmakers.
A Hangzhou-based trader said HRC supply in Shanghai was “a bit short” due to...