ASEAN HRC Steel prices continue to fall throughout September


SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): HRC prices in Asia continued to fall throughout September, following on from their earlier declines in late August. China remained the most competitive seller in the ASEAN market, as HRC offers from other countries (Taiwan, Japan, India and South Korea) were heard $20-35 a ton higher than those from the Middle Kingdom, said the Steel Index in a snippet.

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Affected by weak sentiment in the steel futures market, Chinese producers lowered their domestic and export prices at the start of September. Under pressure from ASEAN buyers, traders also reduced their HRC asking prices, setting them $5-10 a ton below mills’ offers. A large quantity of SAE grade for November shipment was traded between $390-395 a ton during the second week of September and between $380-385 a ton for December shipment in the following week.

Transactions for HRC SS400 grade remained scarce throughout the month, as demand in the Vietnamese domestic market remained weak.

China’s steel purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slipped below the 50-point ‘no-change’ level in September, dropping by 0.6 points to 49.5, despite China entering into the traditional peak season for demand. Major sub-indices such as production, new orders and new export orders declined, while the inventory sub -index showed expansion, indicating that producers were facing pressure from mounting stocks amid slowing domestic and international demand.

The merger of China’s two major steelmakers, Baosteel and Wuhan Iron and Steel Group, has been approved, according to China’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Based on the merger plan, Baosteel will acquire the production arm of Wuhan, while Wuhan retains its non-steel business. Next on the agenda is the restructuring of Ansteel and Benxi Steel Group, steel giants based in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, according to the news agency Xinhua.

(This article is researched and compiled by Vibin Antony on behalf of Scrap Register. Send in your suggestions and comments to editor@scrapregister.com)

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