The government of India, this weekend, proposed a hike in the peak rate of import duties on steel products from 10 to 15%. The move, if approved, will likely stem the flood of cheap imports from Russia and China.
While this was part of recommendations made by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech, the timing of the decision will depend on the government notification after the budget is approved by Parliament so there is no immediate relief in sight for stainless steel producers who have been hit particularly hard by the cheap imports.
The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 1.2% to close at INR 897.30 ($14.53) per kilogram on Friday, February 27. At $14,395, the spot price of nickel finished the market day on the LME up 0.6% per metric ton. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel gained 0.3% to finish at $14,430 per metric ton.
Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,107) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 0.7% last Friday to CNY 106,100 ($16,959) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.87 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,788) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 13,050 ($2,086) per metric ton.