FOCUS: Billet import prices in China hit $400 on BF restrictions

Import prices of steel billet in China have risen to the $400-per-tonne-cfr mark this week on steady demand amid a domestic market strengthened by restrictions imposed on blast furnaces in the country’s steelmaking hub of Tangshan.

Local authorities in Tangshan, in northern China’s Hebei province, have instructed mills to cut their blast furnace production rates by 20-50% in June to improve air quality.
Only three mills, the only steelmakers in the city to attain grades A and B for emissions standards, are exempted from the restrictions, according to a notice issued by the local government.
The city implemented similar restrictions in May, and market participants are expecting it to regularly impose such measures over the remainder of this year, as it did last year.
As a result, billet supply is falling but demand for the semi-finished steel product remains high, sources said.
Re-rolling mills are affected by the latest restrictions, according to the notice.
As such, billet inventory levels are falling while prices for the product are moving upward gradually in the city.

Early this week,...


Jessica Zong

June 05, 2020

08:47 GMT