Eastern European conflicts Inflating Global Steel prices
- 24-Mar-2022 6:30 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
The prevailing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has highly impacted the prices of crude oil, energy, and metal markets like Steel, Aluminium & Nickel. This created a hike in the performance reflect over indices, the metal index on NSE being the top gainer in 2022 inflated with 14%. The key factors for boosting prices are a disruption in the value supply chain and choke-off imports, including Steel. Despite that, Russia and Ukraine are the world’s third and eighth-largest contributors to the global Steel supply & production chain. Annually 95 million tonnes of Steel are produced, and among those, 35 million tonnes are exported by Russia and Ukraine together, which is 7-10 % of global net trade.
Amidst the war, the surge in prices of Steel and gas is due to the aerial bombardment under Russian siege over blast furnaces in Ukraine. The imposed sanctions on Russia and production uncertainties rushed gas and power prices have forced many mini-mills in the European nation to shut down or reduce their output. Moreover, Rebar Steel prices in the European nation surged to a high peak of 1050 Euros per tonne, up 140% from past 2019, and the price of HRC (Hot Rolled Coil) has peaked at a record of 1400 Euros per tonne, up to 240 % from just arrival of COVID-19 pandemic. Prices for HRC export in Europe soar to $ 1300/tonne CFR.
The resurgence of COVID-19 in China after the market balancing post the turbulence of Spring festival 2022 forced Chinese Authorities to announce curbs to control the spread of pandemic and affected Steel production. The controlled emission of carbon in China is also affecting Steel production growth. In India, top Steel producers such as TATA and JSW declared Rebar & HRC prices hiked by USD 18-28 /tonne as coking coal costs have trebled over the past month. After supply chain disruption, coking coal prices have lifted $600-700/tonne from $310/tonne in a month. Even though the South American nations, including Brazil Steelmakers, are looking for alternatives to Russia Pulverized Coal injection (PCI) amid sanctions imposed on Russia.
According to ChemAnalyst, “Steel prices will increase due to consistent queries from downstream infrastructure sectors, high exporting pressure from Asian and European countries, and inadequate supply due to geopolitical tension. Thus, the market for Steel is going to expand more rapidly.”