STEEL WEEK IN BRIEF: Chinese holiday, European AD duties on HRC, scrap prices reach bottom...

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

Turkish import scrap prices are expected to rebound after reaching rock bottom this week, while import scrap prices in India have inched downwards.

In the USA, mills were seeking steep cuts in ferrous scrap prices.

According to Tom Bird, a board member in the ferrous division of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), prices for ferrous scrap are likely to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2017 after global markets weakened during September.

The week-long National Day holiday in China has contributed to a slowdown in both the iron ore and coking coal markets.

Iron ore prices continued to hover around $62 per tonne cfr China on Friday October 6 with market participants waiting for China’s return next week from its break.

And coking coal traders were still holding on to cargoes on Friday, as the focus of the seaborne market is focused on China’s return next week.

Turkey’s import billet price premium over imported scrap reached its highest level in more than five years in September, driven by a shortage of graphite electrodes.

Coated coil prices in Turkey fell this week, in line with falling hot rolled coil (HRC) prices.

EU domestic prices for heavy steel plate have moved down slightly due to falling raw materials costs.

Domestic prices for HRC in the EU are expected to remain largely stable in the fourth quarter of 2017 despite the falling global steel and raw material prices and a seasonal market slowdown in the region.

European steel mills hope to achieve further price rises for long steel products, driven by rising production costs. Prices are expected to remain strong into the fourth quarter of 2017, supported by reduced availability, strong demand and higher production costs.

Russian domestic prices for November-rolled hot rolled (HR) and cold rolled (CR) sheet have pushed up this week as higher offers have been heard.

Export prices for CIS-origin HRC and cold rolled coil (CRC) have gone down over the past week as lower offers have been heard, following the drop in China’s flat steel export prices.

Southeast Asia billet import prices have also gone down over the past week, with lower offers heard, pushed down by the decline in China’s domestic semi-finished product prices, as well as the continued fall in raw materials costs.

Trade policy

This week, Metal Bulletin published its September issue of the steel trade case monitor.

In addition, the European Commission (EC) has decided to impose fixed charges of €17.60-96.50 ($20.65-113.25) per tonne as a definitive trade defence measure in the case against HRC originating from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine.

The decision to impose a fixed duty per tonne will be less effective in protecting the region’s steel market than ad valorem duties, according to trade group Eurofer.

Chung Hung Steel and Shin Yang Steel have been eliminated from a Canadian investigation into the dumping of imports of carbon steel welded pipe from Taiwan.

South Korea’s Nexteel has been hit with even higher anti-dumping duties on imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) into the USA.

Peruvian long steel producer Aceros Arequipa has filed a request urging the start of an anti-dumping probe into rebar imports from Brazil and Mexico.

Indonesia is maintaining its import duties on flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products until 2019 to protect its domestic producers.

Around the world
Gerdau has sold its Chilean assets to local family-owned groups Matco and Ingeniaría e Inversiones for $154 million.

Steelmaker Liberty House intends to restart a second electric arc furnace (EAF) at its UK steelworks in Rotherham, in South Yorkshire.

Cleveland-Cliffs has acquired US Steel Corp’s 15% stake in Tilden Mining Co for $105 million.

US manufacturing sentiment hit a 13-year high and remained above the 50% threshold for a 13th consecutive month in September, indicating growth in the manufacturing economy, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM’s) purchasing managers index (PMI).

Swedish steelmaker SSAB could replace part of its intake of pulverized coal injection (PCI) material with torrefied biomass to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

With port stocks high and prices tumbling, the iron ore market could be in for a turbulent time as China’s economy slows down ahead of the winter, Metal Bulletin’s China Steel Market Insight analysed.

Structural supply-demand imbalances in the global steel market have not been addressed since the first six months of 2017 showed a marginal reduction in global crude steel capacity, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) said.

China’s Hejin Hongda Special Steel has placed an order with Germany’s SMS Group for the supply of equipment for a 700,000-tpy wire rod plant.

And Hebei-based Xinji Aosen Iron & Steel plans to start up 1.4 million-tpy worth of wire rod production capacity in the middle of next year.

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