Global Hot-Rolled Coil Market Remains Quiet and Awaits Price Clarity
- 01-Jun-2022 3:32 PM
- Journalist: Rene Swann
As per our sources, the recent Chinese stimulus measures, the easing of federal lockdown restrictions scheduled for next week, and the robust demand from the downstream sectors have all raised expectations that global hot-rolled coil pricing could strengthen in June. The ease with which COVID-related lockdowns could be enforced would help logistics. However, in this week, as Shanghai opened for pre-holiday trading, Chinese Hot-Rolled coil prices continued to rise on Tuesday, supported by rising raw material prices and improved market sentiment, despite initiatives by Chinese authorities to boost the national economy in June to secure growth in the second quarter. On the other hand, market participants in Shanghai intend to remove the current stockpiles.
Japanese Hot-Rolled Coil producers have announced they will continue to increase Hot-Rolled Coil prices from July to cover increasing raw material costs, especially the high price of coking coal. According to our sources, Nippon Steel has already started negotiations with significant Hot-Rolled Coil customers, such as automobile and electrical appliance manufacturers and building materials companies, to raise quarterly contract Hot-Rolled Coil prices by more than USD 310/Tonne for July-September. Amidst that, Indian steel mills have remained primarily muted on the overseas trade platform due to overseas buyers cautiously inquiring about Indian Hot-Rolled Coil amidst export duty and demand from the UAE, and the EU remains slow.
Short delivery times continued to weigh on demand, and the US market remained subdued amidst the Memorial Day holiday, as US Hot-Rolled Coil (HRC) prices continued their six-week decline. Hot-Rolled Coil prices have fallen by roughly 17% since their peak was USD 1360/MT between 5-20 April. According to the domestic buyers, the Hot-Rolled Coil delivery times in the Midwest increased to 3-5 weeks from 2-4 weeks. Amidst that, the Hot-Rolled Coil buyers were tightening their belts, buying to their minimums on contracts. Some steel mills provoked buyers to put additional tonnes on their contracts rather than buy them as spot transactions. Buyers were cautious about doing so because contract prices are expected to lag behind decreased spot Hot-Rolled Coil pricing by a few weeks.
As per ChemAnalyst, "The Hot-Rolled Coil prices are further anticipated to witness a declining trend owing to the increased trade activities." Uncertainties around the export duty continue to weigh on the Hot-Rolled Coil export trade from India, which might witness a correction in June's sales.