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.

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.

Sales improve in the first quarter: Tata Steel

Tata Steel India said its sales in the first quarter of FY20 improved 16% to 3.87 million tonne over the previous year even as liquidity issues and rural stress that impacted domestic consumption, primarily with consolidation of Tata Steel BSL Ltd. for the full quarter.

Production went up 20 per cent to 4.37 million MT in the Q1 against 3.64 million MT with consolidation of Tata Steel BSL for the full quarter due to higher capacity utilisation at both Tata Steel standalone and Tata Steel BSL Ltd.

On the other hand, steel prices across many geographies declined in the first quarter. Input costs too have spiked with a sharp rise in iron ore prices due to supply disruptions and elevated coking coal costs. As a result, market spreads for steel producers globally have been affected.

India’s ambitions on growing steel productions.

Reportedly, Economic Survey 2018-19 has estimated India’s steel output to hit 128.6 million tonne by 2021 and reach 140 million tonne by 2023, on the back of investments in infrastructure, construction and automobile sectors.

Press Trust of India says “With huge investments in infrastructure, construction and automobile sector, steel demand and corresponding consumption is growing at an average of 7.4 per cent. This will lead steel production to go up to 255 million tonnes by 2030 and per capita steel consumption to 160 kg.”

Crude steel production in 2018-19 stood at 106.56 million tonne, a growth of 3.3 percent over 103.13 million tonne in 2017-18. Currently, India’s per-capita consumption stands at only 69 kg, compared with the global average of 214 kg.

Tata Steel completes acquisition of Bhushan Energy Ltd.

Tata Steel on Saturday announced it had completed the acquisition of debt-ridden Bhushan Energy Ltd.

The announcement came after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the resolution plan of Tata Steel to acquire Bhushan Energy for around Rs.800 crore.

Pursuant to the acquisition, the company holds 99.99% of the total equity share capital of BEL. Bhushan Energy was a subsidiary of Bhushan Steel Ltd, which was also taken over by Tata Steel last year in May, and later renamed as Tata Steel BSL Ltd.

Tata Steel had offered Rs.35,200 crore in cash to acquire Bhushan Steel, besides Rs.1,200 crore to creditors and convert the remaining debt owed to banks to equity.Incorporated in 2005, Bhushan Energy is based in Dhenkanal, Odisha.

STEEL PRICES UNDER IMMENSE PRESSURE

Despite the mills’ best efforts, steel prices have been unable to gain much traction so far in 2019. Price increase announcements of $40/ton in January and February yielded partial and apparently temporary gains for steelmakers. The prices of all flat-rolled steel products are now well below where they were at the beginning of the year, which may be good news for fabricators and other steel users, but is not-so-good news for steel producers and distributors that have seen their margins and the value of their inventories erode.

SMU tracks steel prices each week and publishes its SMU Price Momentum Indicator, which signals whether steel prices are more likely to move up, down, or sideways in the coming 30 days. Currently, SMU’s market momentum is lower for hot-rolled and plate products and neutral for cold-rolled and galvanized.

Mill price increases cannot succeed without the cooperation of distributors. They are on the front lines in the spot market, and it’s their day-to-day decisions about whether to deal or hold the line that ultimately translate into price changes. SMU’s latest survey data suggests that support for higher prices is waning among service centers. About 90 percent of service center executives responding to SMU’s latest poll said they are having difficulty passing along higher prices to their customers.

In its twice-monthly survey, SMU asks manufacturers if they are seeing higher prices from service centers. In mid-March, around 40 percent of respondents said their service center suppliers were seeking higher prices. In the latest data, that figure had declined to 17 percent.