India’s steel consumption is expected to grow at its fastest pace in five years next year on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s infrastructure push, but a scarcity of raw materials means it will be at the expense of another of his key goals – curbing imports.
In his triumphant election campaign, Modi criticized the last government for exporting iron ore but importing steel. But his first five months as the prime minister has coincided with a surge in imports of both, denting his high-decibel drive to make India an export powerhouse.
India’s steel imports from China, the world’s biggest producer of the alloy, doubled in April-September from a year ago though the country has enough capacity to meet its demand. While India’s consumption is expected to rise, China will continue to see a downtrend, likely leading to a flood of cheap steel from China just as Modi pushes ahead with a signature ‘Make in India’ initiative to boost industry.
Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.77) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.14) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC held its value last Friday at CNY 2,970 ($483.57) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw little movement at CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton.
The steel billet cash price saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $465.00 per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the steel billet 3-month price held flat on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.
The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract saw little price change last Friday at $630.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price flattened at $632.00 following two-days of declines.