STEEL WEEK IN BRIEF: Coking coal prices update, stainless steel conference, Ternium/CSA purchase finalised…

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

China’s domestic coking coal market maintained its strength as it entered September, with support coming from tight supplies of the steelmaking raw material coupled with the generous margins generated by its downstream consumers.

A major steelmaker in Japan has agreed on a contract price of $127.50 per tonne fob Australia for third-quarter shipments of pulverised coal injection (PCI) materials.

Teck Resources expects to realise an average price of around $158-163 per tonne for all of its metallurgical coal sold in the third quarter of 2017.

Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index fell below $75 on Friday September 8, to $74.36 per tonne cfr China, down by $1.25 per tonne on a weak futures market in China.

And in scrap, Turkish prices edged up as mills returned to the market after an extended break, with mills securing two cargoes – one Baltic cargo of shredded scrap at  $362 per tonne cfr, and the other a mixed cargo of heavy melt, new cuttings and plate & structural scrap from Europe at an average price of $356 per tonne.

Metal Bulletin’s Daily Scrap Index for European HMS 1&2 (80:20) ended the week at $351.42 cfr on Friday.

China’s export prices for long steel have picked up over the past week, but sellers are attempting to push through even more increases following sharp gains in the domestic market after a fire broke out at a major mill.

China’s export prices for cold rolled coil (CRC) and hot dipped galvanized (HDG) coil stabilised over the past week, as higher offers were snubbed by buyers already hesitating over current market levels.

Buying activity in the Southeast Asia import billet market was largely modest in the week to Monday September 4, with some potential customers celebrating the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday, and others waiting for price trend clarity in China.

Domestic dollar-denominated rebar prices in Turkey have gone up due to the improving value of the lira against the dollar, while Turkish rebar export prices have risen since the country returned to trading after more than a week’s holiday.

Prices for imported flat steel in Iran continued to rise over the week ending Wednesday September 6 as deals and offers from Russia were reported at higher prices.

Saudi Arabia’s biggest steel producer, Hadeed Sabic, increased its domestic rebar price to 2,100 riyals ($560) per tonne ex-works.

The prices of CIS-origin hot rolled coil (HRC) and cold rolled coil (CRC) have inched down over the past week, as lower workable price estimates have been heard, and buyers have continued to be reluctant to accept current offers.

European steelmakers increased their heavy steel plate prices this week, to compensate for rising slab costs.

Prices for steel beams increased across Europe this week amid rising consumption in the region.

And Brazilian steelmaker CSN will raise its flat steel prices for the domestic market by 10.25% on October 1.

Around the world
Metal Bulletin reported from its stainless steel conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Among the major topics discussed at the event were the demand levels from the EU white goods sector and forecasts about Chinese flat stainless steel export levels.

It was also said at the conference that Chinese NPI-based stainless slab ‘could threaten’ EU austenitic production.

Ternium concluded the acquisition of Brazilian slab producer Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico (CSA), following the approval of Brazil’s competition regulator, Cade.

Cade also recommended the refusal of the acquisition of local long steel producer Votorantim Siderurgia by ArcelorMittal’s Brazilian subsidiary.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Bahia Mineração (Bamin) are looking to develop a $2.40 billion integrated iron ore mining and logistics project in Brazil.

US steel tubing mills and pipe yards in the greater Houston area have been gradually restoring operations after flooding paralysed activity for a week or longer.

However, on Friday afternoon in South Carolina, Nucor Steel Berkeley was battening down the hatches at its plant on the Atlantic coast at Mount Pleasant as Hurricane Irma made its way towards the USA.