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Coil prices in Russia steady: decline looms in December - 18 November 2011

Domestic prices for traded hot rolled, cold reduced and hot-dip galvanised coils/sheets from major Russian integrated producers were unchanged in November, but may well soften in December, Steel Business Briefing hears from several stockists.

HRC is currently available at 25,830 roubles/tonne ($841/t), 1.5mm thick CRC is 29,770 r/t and 0.5mm HDG from integrated steelworks is priced at 38,140 r/t, all on an ex-works basis including 17% VAT.

“Although demand started weakening in early November, the sharp rouble depreciation against the dollar in October [encouraged] mills to rush into exports to capitalise on the stronger dollar. This also created an inaccurate picture of sufficient demand in the domestic market,” a local stockist notes. However, it did offer mills the leeway not to review prices, he adds.

December should finally see some downward prices correction to match the true demand. Coil prices could fall by 3-3.5% or even 4% m-o-m, SBB understands. Market sources are blaming the fall on stagnant sales in Europe rather than on the domestic quiet season, causing mills to divert supply to the domestic market.

Although there will be a short-lived surge in activity in December as state-funded firms try to use up funding before the end of the year, these firms alone won’t change the market trend.

If prices fall more than 5%, distributors could offload stocks to avoid balance sheet losses, the source adds. This could potentially release large volumes of relatively cheap coil on to the market, making it hard for non-integrated producers, in particular, to match the likely discounts on offer.

 

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