GLOBAL BILLET WRAP: Prices fall in all regions except China

Steel billet prices in the majority of regions around the world weakened in the week to Friday March 13 amid a bearish outlook for the ferrous scrap market and reduced demand due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outside of China.

Meanwhile, China was the only market to see an improvement in prices amid production cuts.
Northern China’s steel hub of Tangshan will cut 1.6 million tonnes of hot metal production at 20 steel mills in March to improve air quality, Fastmarkets heard last week.
This round of production cuts will affect around 56 blast furnaces in the city, according to Fastmarkets’ estimation, which will ease the pressure of high inventories at steel mills and in the spot market, participants said.
The Tangshan spot market had 968,000 tonnes of billet inventories on Friday, down 72,000 tonnes from 1.04 million tonnes a week ago, according to a local industry information provider.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of steel billet domestic, ex-works Tangshan, Northern China, was at 3,130 yuan ($447) per tonne on Friday, up 40 yuan per tonne from 3,090 yuan per tonne a week earlier.



Vlada Novokreshchenova

March 18, 2020

15:15 GMT