India’s HRC imports activity at standstill due to festival holidays ahead

Thursday, 03 October 2019 14:24:16 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

India’s flat steel import activity has come to a near standstill during the past week amid a combination of the spate of festival holidays ahead and buyers’ reluctance to commit funds, traders said on Thursday, October 3.

Before Chinese business activity closed down for the long holiday, some hot rolled coil (HRC) import offers were received at $455-460/mt CFR Mumbai, compared to $460-465/mt CFR Mumbai in earlier weeks, but no significant transactions have been reported as sellers have not been aggressive in concluding transactions either. Japanese and Korean suppliers’ offers have also been at $455-460/mt CFR, but due to a lack of demand in India Japanese exporters have still been focusing on the Middle East.

“With no demand and high inventory levels across market segments, there is no appetite among buyers to conclude import transactions. Neither traders nor end-users are willing to lock up funds ahead of the festive holidays and bank off-days,” a Mumbai-based trader said.

“No buyer is willing to risk import bookings on their own funds as bank funding is scarce and, with existing stock movement slowing down steadily, no one is in  rush to make fresh bookings,” the trader added.

There have been reports during the past week that India is inching closer to signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with ten countries which would open up a window of duty-free steel imports from China. The prospect of duty-free imports once the RCEP is successfully concluded by India has also kept a section of possible importers away from making any immediate import deals.

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