On the strength of improving global cues and firming up of international pricing, Indian steel mills are considering price increases in January. Domestic orders, though, are still on the low side. First indications point to price increases of $500 per tonne for flat-coated products, which have been hardest hurt by growing imports and price variations. This week, at least two sizable mills announced pricing increases, according to sources. For delivery in December, steel mills decreased the cost of the standard hot-rolled coils (HRC) by about 5% mom. Prices are about 53,400 rupees per tonne (ex-Mumbai).
“The strain on domestic mills was high, particularly with the influx of imports. Additionally, trade channels that carried more expensive stock did not sell it for less. Currently, mills have too much stock. An official of a large steelmaker stated that a reduction of about 5% was made in consideration of these difficulties. International prices are reportedly firming up in the second half of December, according to trade sources. Chinese export prices have stabilized at $625 per tonne (up from about $600 per tonne), while Indian mills have floated offers for sale in the $596–600 per tonne range.
This week, Indian mills withdrew their proposals; new ones will be presented in the first week of January. According to the research, this has also provided some support for the mood on the home market. The source explained, “This means prices in the home market could climb starting in January. Domestic consumption is also anticipated to rise in the near future. “Given the anticipation of a downturn… domestic steel demand growth is projected to drop to 67% in FY24,” the research firm ICRA stated in its year-end report.