Steel market will “warm” up after the Corona pandemic?

The corona virus outbreak at the end of 2019 has a strong impact on the global steel market, especially China.

Both HR and CR coil prices slumped when production was interrupted, inventories surged, and shipping at ports was delayed.

thị trường thép corona
Crude steel production of some countries in January (excluding China). Source: Compiled from Worldsteel

In January, world crude steel output of 64 countries reached over 154.4 million tons, up 2.1% over the same period in 2019.

A new strain of​​ corona virus  (covid-19) broke out late last year in China, causing production and trading activities in major ports to be delayed.

This raises concerns about the economic situation of China in general and construction activities in particular. Normally, steel demand in January and February both increases strongly.

However, affected by the covid-19 epidemic, the production activities of the factories were interrupted.

As a result, HR and CR coil output is expected to decline, inventory increase as demand weakens.

S&P Global Platts said that the demand and strategy of Chinese factories will determine the direction of long steel market price in the first quarter of 2020.

The covid-19 translation causes inventory to increase faster and spot prices fluctuate dramatically in the short term.

HRC steel price of 5.75mm * 1500 in January averaged 3,850 yuan / ton ($ 550.6 / ton), down 25 yuan from the end of December 2019.

The average 1mm CRC price in January reached 4,474 yuan / ton, down 4 yuan.

In Vietnam, market performance is quite slow.

Formosa Ha Tinh raised the average HRC price for March shipments to 520 USD / ton CIF Vietnam.

Increasing $ 35 / ton compared to December 2019.

Vietnam’s crude steel production in January reached more than 1.6 million tons, down 22.3% year-on-year.

In which, sales reached nearly 1.4 million tons, down over 30%.


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