China’s prices for imported iron ore for both port inventories and seaborne cargoes increased on July 6, with Mysteel’s PORTDEX 62% Fe Australian fines edging up by Yuan 5/wmt ($0.7/wmt) from last Friday to reach Yuan 795/wmt FOT Qingdao and including the 13% VAT. On the same day, the SEADEX 62% Fe Australian Fines price also increased by $1/dmt from last Friday to $101.4/dmt CFR Qingdao.
China’s national HRB400 20mm dia rebar price assessed by Mysteel reversed up last Friday after seven consecutive days of decline, although it was a slight increase of Yuan 5/tonne ($0.7/t) on day to Yuan 3,751/t including 13% VAT as of July 3. Steel trading rebounded to nearly a one-month high, strengthening the rebar price.
The ratio of lump feeds in blast furnaces among the 64 steelmakers across China under Mysteel’s survey reached a seven-month high of 11.74% over June 18-July 1, market sources remarked on Friday, suggesting that low lump prices had encouraged some domestic steel mills to increase consumption.
Average daily coke output among the 230 Chinese independent coke plants under Mysteel’s weekly survey increased for a third straight week over June 25-July 2 to hit an 8.5-month high of 668,400 tonnes/day as of Thursday, up by another 1,200 t/d from June 24, according to Mysteel’s latest survey. There’s been minimal easing of the coke plants’ run-rates because of healthy profits and firm demand from steel mills, survey respondents said.
Processed coking coal output at the 110 Chinese independent and affiliated wash plants under Mysteel’s weekly survey declined notably by 47,300 tonnes/day or 6.7% on week to a 17-week low of 662,000 t/d as of June 30, according to Mysteel’s survey report published on Wednesday. Coal processing was impacted by maintenance and operational disruptions at some mines, the report noted.
Mysteel’s PORTDEX 62% Australian Fines dropped by Yuan 3/wmt ($0.4/wmt) on day to Yuan 786/wmt FOT Qingdao and including the 13% VAT on July 1. On Wednesday, the SEADEX 62% Australian Fines softened too by $0.6/dmt on day to $99.45/dmt CFR Qingdao.
June saw consumption of steel scrap among China’s blast furnace (BF) steelmakers increase but at a slower pace than in the previous month, with the average scrap consumption ratio against steel production among the 130 BF steel mills across China under Mysteel’s regular survey, rising by 0.42 percentage point from the average ratio in May to 14.74% by June 29. The incline of 0.42% was slower than a larger 1.58% increase monitored from May 30, Mysteel Global noted.
Stable trading conditions at home encouraged China’s suppliers of hot-rolled coil to raise their export prices by around $10/tonne over June 20-28, yet despite this hike the price gap with the Chinese shippers’ global competitors narrowed as international prices climbed even faster, according to Mysteel’s latest weekly report. Shippers of foreign coils exporting to China stumbled with their pricing as well last week, Mysteel Global notes.
Starting this month, most steel producers in Tangshan, China’s top steel producing city in North China’s Hebei province, could find themselves forced to halt some facilities including blast furnaces and sintering machines perhaps for as long as three months, as part of production restrictions on industrial enterprises to control pollution and improve air quality, according to a draft seen by Mysteel Global.
China’s national price of HRB400 20mm dia rebar declined further and at a faster pace on Monday, down Yuan 19/tonne ($2.7/t) from last Friday to Yuan 3,764/t including the 13% VAT as of June 29. Steel trading retreated markedly amid continuous rainfalls in South and East China.
China’s imported iron ore market sentiment had been in general intact over June 19-24, as the demand from the Chinese steel mills had not seen much ebbing on their remaining high steel output even though steel stocks had been building up, and the prices of both seaborne cargoes and port inventories still persisted at their respective 10-month highs, Mysteel Global noted.