Steel prices likely to move up by $ 25-30 in 3-4 months

Driven by a strong domestic demand from the automobile, infrastructure and other allied sectors, steel prices are likely to increase by $ 25-30 (Rs 1,000 1,200) per tonne in the next three to four months, according to industry experts.

Steel-makers feel that better international prices and increase in coking coal and iron ore prices would also lead to the metal’s price increasing. It is currently pegged at Rs 30,000 per tonne.

“We expect steel prices to firm-up in the coming months. In the next three to four months, prices may go up by another Rs 1,000 per tonne as domestic demand firms up. Prices of coking coal as well as input costs have risen,” a top official at Essar Steel told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Costs of iron ore and coking coal have surged this year after miners moved to a quarterly pricing mechanism, thus affecting the margins of steel companies.

The growth in the auto sector is also directly affecting the steel prices.

Auto components-maker, Steel Strips and Wheels, that makes wheel rims for most of the global auto players such as Nissan, BMW, Audi, Toyota, GM , Honda, Tata Motors and Honda, is also contemplating a hike in steel prices.

“Prices will go up by $ 25-30 per tonne on the back of growth in the auto sector and rise in input costs by March-April,” Steel Strips and Wheels’ Chief General Manager, (Corporate and Raw Material), S Raghuvanshi, said.

Meanwhile, a senior official at Jindal Steel and Power also said that there is an upward pressure on steel prices and prices would harden further on the back of an increase in domestic consumption by 10 per cent.

Hardened Tempered Steel strip

Hardening and Tempering is a thermal process that strengthens steel through a controlled heating and cooling process.

This process will result in improved mechanical properties and give a tougher more durable product. The hardening process involves heating the steel to above the critical temperature for the given grade and then rapidly cooling. Whilst this process achieves the highest mechanical stengths and hardness’s, steel in this condition is extremely brittle and therefore requires further treatment in the form of tempering. This consists of reheating the steel to a lower temperature and holding the steel at the given temperature for a given period of time. As with traditional annealing (used to soften steels) this process is conducted in an inert atmosphere to avoid oxidation.

The exact temperature and processing times vary with given grades of steel and the process is very specialized.

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Special Temper Cold Rolled Steel Strips

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.