India’s HRC imports stalled, one ex-China HRC deal done at lower price

Friday, 03 April 2020 15:43:29 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

India’s flat steel import trading activity has remained at a standstill during the past week with neither end-users nor commercial traders concluding any transaction in view of the halting of most production by end-user industries, risks of tonnages getting stuck at ports, the weakening local currency and the expectations that local steel mills will cut domestic prices.

Even the sharp weakening of imported ex-China hot rolled coil (HRC) prices has failed to trigger any activity and buyers are waiting for definite signals from the government on the possibilities of an extension of the lockdown beyond April 14 before resuming any business activity.

Market sources said that ex-China HRC prices are down to $460-465/mt CFR Nhava Seva in western India, from $475-480/mt CFR in the previous week.

Only one stray deal was concluded by a western India-based steel mill for an estimated volume of 12,000 mt at the lower end of the range at $460/mt CFR Mumbai, but most sources said that this was for a longer-term delivery around the end of May, with the buyer anticipating the normalization of logistics both at the buyer and seller end.

Market sources pointed out that no price quotations have been available for ex-South Korea HRC largely because the local re-rollers mainly located in western India had stopped operations. These re-rollers were entirely dependent on long-term CRC supply contracts with southern India-based Korea automobile manufacturers, which had stopped production entirely and hence the re-rollers stayed away from fresh import bookings.

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