The key drivers of the price growth were limited activity among Chinese exporters, increased prices from them, and a shortage of flat steel products in the EU. Several sources said that strong demand in the Russian domestic market also supported high export prices.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, export, fob Black Sea, CIS
, was $905 per tonne at the midpoint of the range on Monday April 12. That was up by $207.50 per tonne (29.75%) from the $697.50 per tonne assessed on February 15, days before the uptrend started.
The midpoint price was up by $540 per tonne, almost 2.5-fold, from $365 per tonne on April 14, 2020, when strict quarantine measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic were gathering pace globally.
“There is a threat that China [a trend-setter in the global steel market] will cancel export tax rebates. That is stopping some buyers...