China’s Cancellation of the Steel Alloy Boron Export Rebate Will Help Prices

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Coiled steel for import

China’s cancellation on January 1 of an export tax rebate on steel alloys that contain boron may provide support for international steel prices and prompt Russia to fight for market share in the trade, analysts told the South China Morning Post.

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Boron is a chemical added to steel products to increase steel quality. But more and more Chinese steelmakers, including some unqualified ones, exploited this to earn export tax rebates, leading to trade friction especially with Southeast Asian countries, which imported large amounts of steel from China.

Many Chinese producers are simply replacing boron with chrome.

Closing at CNY 2,700 ($434.51) per metric ton on Friday, January 9, Chinese slab saw the biggest change at a 8.2%. Chinese HRC finished the day down 0.7% to CNY 3,000 ($482.79) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.81) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.18) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($135.18) per dry metric ton.

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The cash price of steel billet saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet saw little movement on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

Following a quiet couple of days, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract fell 1.3% last Friday to $597.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price dropped by 0.8% to $597.00 per short ton after holding steady.

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