Local Indian billet prices stable amid negative sentiment, large mills seek to increase exports

Wednesday, 07 August 2019 11:14:58 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Local Indian billet prices have remained stable during the past week amid negative sentiment and low trading activity due to apprehensions of sluggish TMT (thermo-mechanically-treated) rebar prices and oversupply, traders said on Wednesday, August 7.

Market sources said that local Indian 100 mm x 100 mm billet prices have moved in a narrow range between INR 27,900/mt ($394/mt) and INR 28,000/mt ($395/mt), ex-stockyard.

Traders said that most steel mills with integrated downstream processing plants have been reducing their captive conversion of billet to rebar in view of the falling price of the latter and are pushing higher billet volumes for commercial sale.

However, local Indian billet prices have remained stable during the past week despite higher supplies in the local markets in India, largely because large steel mills are attempting to push higher billet volumes overseas and so support for local prices will largely hinge on sustaining exports over the medium term, the traders said.

Ex-India billet offers during the past week have remained stable at $420-425/mt FOB, according to market sources. However, suppliers are ready to provide discounts of up to $10/mt to conclude deals.

In order to check higher inventories resulting from lower captive conversion, several large steel mills have been pushing volumes overseas, like Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) which floated an export tender during the past week seeking bids for export of 18,900 mt. Similarly, also during the past week state-run Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) floated a limited tender seeking to export about 15,000 mt to Nepal.

$1 = INR 70.75

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