COMMENT: It’s topsy-turvy time of the year again for steel prices

Following a flip in global steel and ferrous trade flow trends last year caused by economic jitters in Turkey, trade defenses by the United States and production cuts in China, this year it is steel prices that are turning upside down.

Hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices are now below rebar prices in a phenomenon rarely seen outside of the Chinese domestic markets. 
HRC import prices in Vietnam have plunged to $460-465 per tonne cfr Vietnam in the past week on an ample supply of distressed Indian cargoes sitting at Vietnamese ports or en-route to the country, compared with $465-475 per tonne cfr Singapore for rebar prices
While this has happened in the Chinese markets due to limited rebar supply after induction furnaces were shut, and re-rollers were short of billets from reduced blast furnace operations, it has only now been seen in the wider Asian markets. The Asian rebar markets have not seen price falls that serious because reductions in offers for Indian, Chinese, Turkish and Qatari materials have been more measured.

Steel billet prices have also come close to slab prices, with Indian origin billets leading the downward...


Paul Lim

September 03, 2019

11:45 GMT