STEEL WEEK IN BRIEF: Global scrap prices stable, Hurricane Harvey effects in the USA, fire at China's Bengang BF...

Metal Bulletin reviews the major stories affecting the steel market over the past week.

Global scrap prices have remained largely unchanged over the past week, with markets awaiting the end of holidays in Turkey.

With no fresh cargoes heard booked this week, Turkish scrap prices remained flat, along with those for Taiwanese imports and US exports.

Indian imported scrap prices inched upwards on improved demand, however.

In Brazil, a Votorantim and ArcelorMittal merger could reduce Brazilian scrap prices, national scrap association Inesfa said.

And export prices for Brazilian pig iron were up this week in a firm global market.

Iron ore prices recovered on Thursday and rose to almost $79 per tonne cfr China after the Chinese ferrous futures market rebounded following a subdued start to the day.

Interest in premium low-vol Australia-origin hard coking coal remains firm in the seaborne market, while Metal Bulletin's cfr China Premium Hard Coking Coal Index rose $2.64 per tonne to $215.62 per tonne on Thursday.

Metal Bulletin’s coking coal and iron ore indices were not published on Friday September 1 due to a public holiday in Singapore.

Steel

China’s hot rolled coil (HRC) prices shot up ahead of the weekend on expectations of tighter supplies after a fire broke out at a blast furnace belonging to Benxi Iron & Steel (Bengang).

Eastern China steel major Shagang has raised its wire rod prices for early September, while keeping those of rebar unchanged.

Russian domestic rebar prices have risen as August-production rebar has been sold at higher prices than were achieved for July-rolled material.

Steel mills in India are likely to increase their domestic prices for HRC sales in September by Rs2,000 ($31) per tonne.

UK long steel producer British Steel is to raise wire rod prices by “at least £50 [$64.51] per tonne” on all deliveries from September 29.

In Europe, finished long steel prices have continued to go up through August, supported by reduced supplies during the summer holidays, as well as by costlier raw materials.

European stainless steel mills raised their base price offers as the regional market began to return to normal activity.

European steel plate producers have either already raised their offer prices or are planning to increase official prices in early September.

In Brazil, further rises in domestic flat steel prices were announced by domestic mills in August, with no additional increases likely for September, while rebar prices were unchanged in August amid rumours of a potential upswing.

In the global slab market, export prices in Brazil and the CIS region and import prices in Southeast Asia have all increased this week, amid tighter supplies.

Trade policy
Metal Bulletin published an update on the new, progressing and closed trade cases from around the world in August 2017.

This week, the USA has further extended the deadline for its circumvention investigation into imports of coated steel and cold-rolled coil (CRC) from Vietnam, as well as determining that wire rod from Italy and Turkey is subsidised.

Canada is to review the scheduled expiration of duties on imports of steel piling pipe from China.

Around the world

The unprecedented destruction resulting from Hurricane Harvey’s assault on the US Gulf Coast region could tighten steel and scrap supplies and put upward pressure on prices.

Flooding and unrelenting rainfall have imperiled lives and property in and around Houston, Texas, and threatened to paralyse metals-related commerce.

And steel pipe businesses in Texas are warning customers that inventory and freight disruptions are likely for at least a week as a result of the historic flooding in the Houston region.

The outlook for the global rebar market is positive for the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the International Rebar Exporters & Producers Assn (Irepas).

The local government of China’s Shanxi province has transferred all of its shares in the 100%-owned Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Taigang) to an asset management company under its control.

And finally, Rio Tinto officially opened its 10 million-tpy Silvergrass iron ore mine in Western Australia.

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