STEEL WEEK IN BRIEF: Iron ore above $70 per tonne, coking coal prices surge, trade case monitor...

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

Steelmaking raw materials prices continued to rise.

Iron ore prices climbed above the threshold of $70 per tonne cfr China on Friday, despite narrowing in both futures and the steel market.

The last time that iron ore prices were above the $70 per tonne mark was in September 18.

Bids on premium category seaborne coking coal cargoes moved higher on Friday, staying at around $210-217 per tonne fob Australia basis. As a result, Metal Bulletin’s fob Australia premium hard coking coal index was up $3.38 per tonne to $214.35 per tonne.

Taiwan’s prices for imports of containerized HMS-grade ferrous scrap continued on a bullish trend for the sixth consecutive week as tight supplies and global price increases supported trading values.

Prices for imports of scrap arriving in India in containers pushed up this week, on improving demand for finished steel and tighter supplies at export yards.

The correlation between Turkish domestic ship scrap prices and prices for scrap imported into the country is expected to continue next year, according to market participants.

China’s domestic prices for hot-rolled coil ended flat on Friday 1 in lackluster trading.

East China’s Shagang has hiked its long steel prices for early December to reflect the recent surge in the domestic spot market.

Turkish imported billet prices have increased slightly in line with the rising scrap import values, while the domestic and export prices have been comparatively stable.

Steel billet import prices in Egypt have increased over the past week and several deals have been heard, while local rebar prices remained unchanged.

And CIS export billet prices continued climbing in the week to Monday as sellers managed to push through an increase and conclude several deals at higher prices.

Prices for domestic rebar in Northern Europe are likely to rise in the first quarter of 2018 amid better demand and stronger cost pressure on steelmakers, while export prices for Southern European rebar moved down by €5-10 per tonne this week, amid gloom about the likely demand in the key Algerian import market during the first quarter of next year. [LINK 2]

Italian steelmakers have increased their domestic offer prices for first-quarter production hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) coil.

Export prices for Brazilian slab were once again stable this week, as a tug-of-war continues between buyers and sellers.

US steelmaker Keystone Steel & Wire will implement a base price increase of $45 per ton on low-carbon steel wire rod and $60 per ton on high-carbon wire rod.

USS-Posco Industries has joined an effort by US mills east and west of the Rocky Mountains to raise sheet prices by at least $30 per tonne ($1.50 per hundredweight).

Trade policy

Metal Bulletin published its November issue of the steel trade case monitor.

Chile has imposed final anti-dumping duties on imports of steel grinding rods from China.

Also, the United States has quadrupled the preliminary anti-dumping duties on imports of South Korea-origin wire rod after officials admitted that they did not convert currency values correctly.

Large-diameter line pipe mills in the US are almost ready to file an anti-dumping and countervailing trade petition with the country’s Department of Commerce, targeting multiple nations in Asia and elsewhere.

Turkey imposed anti-dumping duties of 16.89-22.55% on heavy steel plate imports from China.

Anti-dumping measures against imports of hot-rolled coil (HRC) into the EU, to support the bloc’s supply-demand balance, will not reduce the total volume of imports from alternative sources.

The European metals industry has reacted positively to the European Parliament’s endorsement, made at a Strasbourg plenary meeting on November 15, of new European Union anti-dumping rules that are scheduled to come into force early next year.

Around the world
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) aims to make the bulk of its iron ore production above 60% Fe in order to “compete head to head” in the higher grade markets.

Iran is working hard to expand its capacities for iron ore processing and the production of direct-reduced iron (DRI) and hot-briquetted iron (HBI) as it massively expands its steel production.

United Arab Emirates steel producer Conares Steel is investing in a new line to produce color-coated coil, or PPGI (pre-painted galvanized iron), company chief executive officer (ceo) Bharat Bhaita told Metal Bulletin.

The imposition of a 5% value added tax (VAT) in the UAE in 2018 will not dent steel demand from the construction sector.

Liquid steel output at ArcelorMittal’s integrated site in Dunkirk, northern France, will hit a record annual high in 2017, Eric Niedziela, the firm’s country head for France, said this week.

Italian steelmaker Ilva could be shut down if a regional court accepts a complaint lodged by two senior politicians in the country, Carlo Calenda, Italy’s minister of economic development, has said.

Liberty House will invest in 5 million tonnes per year of secondary steelmaking capacity in the United Kingdom over the next five years, equivalent to half of the UK’s current steel output.

The Brazilian steel institute, Aço Brasil, has revised upward its forecast for the country’s steel consumption, sales and output this year, due to a “timid” market rebound.

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