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Chinese HRC export prices rise on increased buying interest - 20 January 2012

Chinese hot rolled coil producers have raised their export offer prices in tandem with improved order bookings while transaction prices have also moved up towards new offers. Export offer prices of SS400 boron-added HRC presently average $625-630/tonne fob, up $10/t from early January. Transaction prices for March-delivered material are believed to be around $615-620/t fob, up also about $10/t from early this month.

However, exporters tell Steel Business Briefing that materials for March delivery are almost fully booked so transaction prices are expected to strengthen further for April-delivered HRC.

Demand for Chinese HRC suddenly improved from last week, especially from the Middle East and South America, because overseas buyers are in a hurry to close deals fearing Chinese export prices will climb further after the Chinese New Year holidays (22-28 January), SBB is told.

In fact, SBB hears unconfirmed reports of transactions concluded Tuesday-Wednesday by some Indian importers at $650/t cfr (equivalent to $620/t fob). Some 20,000t of Chinese-origin SS400B HRC is believed to have been booked in these deals, which found support in the recent appreciation of the Indian rupee.

Some optimistic exporters believe the uptrend of export prices will encourage more buyers to purchase after the holidays because many of their clients held back buying in December and early January waiting for prices to bottom out.

Meanwhile, in the Chinese domestic market, business has almost ceased as market participants have begun holidays. Prices of Q235 5.5mm HRC are currently stable at RMB 4,250/t with 17% VAT in Shanghai and RMB 4,330/t with VAT in Guangdong Lecong steel market.

Chinese domestic HRC prices

©SBB 2012

RMB/tonne

 

Incl. 17% VAT

Excl. 17% VAT

Shanghai

4,250

3,632

Lecong

4,330

3,701

 

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