1. Chinese Steel Prices Start 2017 Higher; Vietnamese Steel Exports to US Grow Fivefold
The most active May rebar contract at the Shanghai Exchange gained 0.6% on the day to 2,927 yuan or about $420.87 per ton. Iron ore price at the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.2% to 555,5 yuan per ton.
While China is endorsing steel production cuts to ease the blows dealt to its ecology combined with decreased demand from the US following the introduction of higher tariffs on Chinese-origin steel, Vietnam is reaping the benefits, as lower Chinese imports must be substituted from elsewhere.
According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), US steel import from Vietnam rose 419.6% in January-November 2016 over the 2015 figure to 903,000 tons. Vietnam outpaced China, Taiwan and Germany, and is now holding third place among top steel exporters to the US following South Korea and Turkey.
The trend is likely to continue in 2017, considering Donald Trump’s domestic economic expansion policy. US steel output is already forecast to expand 4.4% in 2017.
2. India: Steel ministry seeks lower import taxes on key raw materials
India’s steel ministry wants lower import taxes on a number of key steelmaking raw materials, including nickel, to protect the domestic industry from the rising costs of basic resources, a senior government official said.
The finance ministry could even scrap the current 5 percent import duty on nickel, largely used in stainless steel production, Aruna Sharma, the top civil servant at the steel ministry, told Reuters.
“We need the modern, latest technology. And that’s why next year we’ll spend almost the entire budgetary allocation for research,” Sharma said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta, editing by David Evans)
3. ArcelorMittal, CSN, Usiminas raising Brazil flat steel prices: sources
Brazilian flat steel producers have notified distributors they are raising prices of hot- and cold-rolled steel between 8 percent and 10 percent this month
Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA and the Brazilian unit of ArcelorMittal SA will keep zinc-coated steel prices unchanged
The price hikes are effective Jan. 1, Jan. 5 and Jan. 10, respectively
“An increase of more than 10 percent for all products and clients would boost EBITDA by around 650 million reais ($199 million),”
(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Alan Crosby)
4. Iranian, Chinese companies eye steel mill acquisition
ISLAMABAD: The government is again starting the process for the sale of financially sick Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) whose losses have piled up to Rs167 billion, says a top government official.
The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) will take up the matter of PSM sell-off in its meeting on January 18 as two investors are willing to acquire the largest industrial unit of Pakistan on long-term lease.
PSM had been given approximately Rs50 billion in bailout packages between 2008 and 2013. However, the mill could not stand on its feet and constantly defaulted on payments to Sui Southern Gas Company for gas supplies. It owes SSGC about Rs41 billion.
If the committee gives the go-ahead, then the Privatisation Commission will invite Expressions of Interest (EoIs) and the process will take 45 days.
5. Russia’s stainless steel exports surged 4% in November; Japanese exports declined
As per data, Russia exported 482,000 tons of stainless steel products during November this year, marginally higher by over 4% when matched with the previous month.
The data published by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Trade indicates that the country’s stainless steel products exports declined by over 13% year-on-year to 78,386 tons during November this year.
Source: Scrap Monster