Domestic steel players raise prices amid absence of green shoots

Domestic steel industry has been continuously raising product prices since November despite the absence of green shoots. There are no strong demand indicators, or green shoots, at all which can keep these price hikes sustainable. Demand from infrastructure is still to pick up and auto sector continues to be weak.

Domestic steel producers have raised product prices by about Rs 2,000 per tonne for February. The February price hike is also in anticipation of a demand pick up that stockiest have stocked their yards. There is no on-ground demand so far. Higher raw material costs, increased global steel prices and expectations of a demand pick up have been the only reasons for domestic steel producers to raise prices every month since November so far.

Currently, hot-rolled prices are ruling at Rs 40,000 per tonne in the domestic market, up from the 15-month low of Rs 33,500 per tonne rate noted in mid-2019. However, the current price point is far lower than Rs 47,000 per tonne rate for hot-rolled noted in October 2018.

As rolled hard strips – Special Temper.

These are basically as rolled hard steel strip. To achieve a desired hardness, an annealed material of suitable thickness is taken and rolled down to the required thickness, to achieve that required hardness. After rolling, the material is pinch passed and final annealing is not required. To choose the correct thickness (for reduction to the desired thickness) is a matter of expertise.

Grades: This strip is available in low, medium & high carbon grades.

Applications: It is suitable for components where formability is limited. It saves the extra annealing cost. The strip is directly punched & formed and if required sent for heat treatment.

Steel prices rise as demand perks up

Responding to cost pressure and greater demand, domestic steel producers have raised prices by Rs 1,000-1,500 a tonne across products for January. Iron ore miners have increased prices by Rs 600 per tonne and so this increases the cost of production by Rs 1,000 a tonne.

With this, domestic steel players have raised prices for the fourth consecutive month in a market in which consumption is expected to pick up after the government announced a mega push for infrastructure projects. Stock prices of all steel firms were up on Thursday in anticipation of rise in demand for the commodity, mainly from the infrastruct­u­re se­ctor, in coming months.

During October-December, long product producers such as JSPL and SAIL have recorded strong production figures, indicating a demand pick-up in infrastructure. JSPL recorded 30 per cent sales growth in the December quarter at 1.66 million tonnes compared with the same period in the previous financial year.

As rolled hard strips – Special Temper.

These are basically as rolled hard steel strip. To achieve a desired hardness, an annealed material of suitable thickness is taken and rolled down to the required thickness, to achieve that required hardness. After rolling, the material is pinch passed and final annealing is not required. To choose the correct thickness (for reduction to the desired thickness) is a matter of expertise.

Grades: This strip is available in low, medium & high carbon grades.

Applications: It is suitable for components where formability is limited. It saves the extra annealing cost. The strip is directly punched & formed and if required sent for heat treatment.

Steel prices recover, but no signs of increment in demand.

Steel firms have hiked domestic prices following a rise in international rates. In fact, domestic hot rolled coil steel prices have risen by about 3% in the past two months. Prices of bars have also increased by as much.
Demand growth for steel slipped into negative territory in the first two months of Q3 FY20, recording a fall of about 1.8% year-on-year. It has steadily decelerated throughout the current fiscal, declining from 6.9% YoY in Q1 FY20 to 3.1% YoY in Q2 FY20,” it added.
Further, steel consumers such as auto and infrastructure, continue to reel under a slowdown. There are no visible signs yet of demand revival in auto and capital goods sectors.
One positive for the steel sector, however, is that input costs are on the decline. Prices of raw materials iron and coking coal have slipped. Iron ore, for instance, dropped by 15-17% over the past four months, while coking coal prices fell about 32% in the last six months. This should help alleviate the pressure on operating margins.

Steel prices on the verge of recovery

Domestic steel prices could increase by over Rs 1,000 per tonne in December, the first rise in six months, propped up by a strong revival in international prices and improvement in demand from infrastructure and housing sectors.

Signs of improvement in demand are being seen since November and this has given scope for price correction.Major steel players are looking at a moderate price recovery of Rs 1,000-1,500 per tonne in December.

An increase in price will improve the prospects of medium and large steel firms, including Tata Steel, Tata Steel BSL, JSW Steel, Essar Steel, Steel Authority of India and JSPL. Prices have been falling since May due to sluggish demand from infrastructure and construction sectors, and drop in orders from the slowdown-hit auto sector.From a high of Rs 44,000 per tonne, Hot Rolled Coils prices had plunged to, what industry executives termed as “unsustainable”, levels of Rs 34,000 per tonne.

GRADE C125 STEEL STRIPS

Earlier, import was the only option for this material, which was a big hassle. But now, we at BTC are regularly keeping stock of this material in various sizes, and can offer the same off the shelf.

Range:
Thickness: 0.07 mm to 4.00 mm
Width: 8 mm to 500 mm (in thickness lower than 0.6 mm, 4 mm wide material can also be supplied)
Hardness: Fully annealed material with a maximum hardness of 200 VPN & special temper material with hardness ranging from 230 VPN to 285 VPN.

This is a very special grade of steel and is mainly used for making those components where very high tensile strength & yield stress is required. It can achieve hardness of up to 58 HRC Rockwell after Hardening & Tempering.

Application: Mainly used for making Surgical Blades i.e. Scalpels, Metal Cutting Bandsaws, Knitting Needles .etc.

Tata Steel eyes better H2FY20 on the back of tax benefits, festive season

The government’s proposed tax cuts combined with an uptick in consumption during the festive season would improve the demand situation in the second half of the fiscal year 2019-2020, said TV Narendran, MD of Tata Steel.

The corporate tax rate decision was very positive and in line with what the industry has been talking about, he said.

“It helps companies like us who are investing a lot currently in India because we also have the pressure to deleverage. So actions like this help us in that context,” Narendran added.

Besides tax benefits and festive season, Narendran said the government’s spending on infrastructure will also boost earnings. “We also hope that the infrastructure spend that the government has been talking about will start translating into money flows on the ground so that should help us,” he said.

Compared to South-East Asia, the Middle East or Europe, India has been a big price setter as the country has been exporting a fair amount of steel, said Narendran.

“So if things pick up in India, we believe that steel prices globally can also be positively impacted – microeconomic activity, various governments are taking different steps and we hope we will see the impact of those actions across the world,” he further mentioned.

Grade C125 Steel Strips

Earlier, import was the only option for this material, which was a big hassle. But now, we at BTC are regularly keeping stock of this material in various sizes, and can offer the same off the shelf.

Range:
Thickness: 0.07 mm to 4.00 mm
Width: 8 mm to 500 mm (in thickness lower than 0.6 mm, 4 mm wide material can also be supplied)
Hardness: Fully annealed material with a maximum hardness of 200 VPN & special temper material with hardness ranging from 230 VPN to 285 VPN.

This is a very special grade of steel and is mainly used for making those components where very high tensile strength & yield stress is required. It can achieve hardness of up to 58 HRC Rockwell after Hardening & Tempering.

Application: Mainly used for making Surgical Blades i.e. Scalpels, Metal Cutting Bandsaws, Knitting Needles .etc.

Tata Steel Q1 Net Profit Crashes.

With global steel prices nosediving while production costs rise, Tata Steel, the country’s largest private steel maker, reported net profit of Rs. 702 crore in the June 2019 quarter, falling 63% year-on-year. The company had reported consolidated net profit of Rs. 1934 crore in the year-ago period. Consolidated revenue from operations remained flat in the quarter, at Rs. 35,382.16 crore.

For India, the company reported standalone net profit of Rs. 1567 crore, 15% lower than the Rs. 1856 crore it reported last year. In India, steel prices declined as subdued economic activity, seasonal slowdown and liquidity issues weighed on domestic consumption. Higher net imports further exacerbated the demand supply balance.

The company reported production of 7.15 MMT in the quarter, with India accounting for 4.5 MMT, higher than the 6.45 MMT and 3.64 MMT respectively reported in the same period last year. EBIDTA in its India business fell 4.71% to Rs. 5117 crore in the quarter, from Rs. 5370 crore in Q1FY19. EBITDA/tonne of steel fell to 12,908 from 16,068 in the quarter, while for the consolidated figures crashed from Rs. 11,740 crore to Rs. 8725 crore.