Market News

Over the past year, there is a drastic lack of metal steel sheets in the market caused by global factory closures and lack of iron ore and steel exports as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. International demand to restart economies whilst production capacity is limited has spiked steel prices to record highs. According to the London Metal Exchange (LME) steel price charts as follows, steel prices have more than doubled in China and USA from June 2020 to date. China Steel rates were around US$527 per ton in November 2020, and skyrocketed to US$950 per ton on 5th May 2021. Notwithstanding the above increments in steel sheet prices, international shipment and labour resources also faced tremendous upheaval across 2020 and 2021.

In view of the recent instability in the market, FME has curated information to keep customers updated of steel price fluctuations. We urge our customers to actively plan their material requisition needs ahead and take note minimum production lead time for new cable support systems as at May 2021 is around 4 – 6 working weeks subject to metal sheet and component availability. Contact FME to find out more!

SCMP: China’s steel prices spike on record raw material costs, raising inflation fears – May 10, 2021
Over 100 steelmakers in China increased prices due to government efforts to scale back capacity. The spike in prices could threaten a range of downstream industries, as steel is a key material used in construction, home appliances, cars and machinery.

Reuters: China iron ore, steel prices hit record as supply worries prompt speculative buying – May 10, 2021
While some steel mills have stopped buying materials at such high prices, traders are sweeping goods at spot market due to limited supplies available.

Platts Analytics: Fundamentals support strong iron ore prices in 2021 – May 4, 2021
Platts China Steel Trade Tracker shows the market expects steel prices to continue rising, supported by falling steel inventories and robust orders.

SCMP: China’s small manufacturers endure ‘difficult time’ as surging raw material prices drive up costs – May 4, 2021
Demand for raw materials has surged in China as the economy has recovered from the pandemic, but that has increased costs for downstream manufacturers as “every supplier was raising prices”.

The Star: Rise in steel prices set to continue – Apr 30, 2021
International uptrend in steel prices may be sustained right into the third quarter of 2021 due to extended lead times due to logistics disruptions and capacity resumptions, historically low inventories and higher demand from automobile markets in the United States and Europe. Buyers are purchasing more cautiously purchasing due to the current international high price and uncertainties in the supply and economic recovery.

EdgeProp: Rising steel prices hurting building sector – Apr 29, 2021
Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) propose for the Government to reintroduce the Variation of Price (VOP) Clause for essential building materials to cover the risk of inflation changes as contractors increasingly face operational difficulties from unstoppable rising costs.

Bloombergquint: India Steelmakers Seen Gaining As China Signals More Imports; Tata Steel, JSW Steel Shares Rally – Apr 29, 2021
Market has largely priced in the increase preliminarily announced since February but the cut in rebates is larger than expected. Steel continues to be in short supply in the short term given restrictions on China production and exports.

Platts Analytics: China removes VAT rebate on steel exports, cuts tax on raw material imports to zero – Apr 28, 2021
China has announced the removal of VAT rebates on exports of 146 steel products from May 1, a move the market had been widely anticipating since February. The rebate for cold rolled coil and hot-dip galvanized coil was not removed, likely because they were deemed higher value-added products, although market participants said they could be reduced in a subsequent announcement.

Platts Analytics: US steel prices higher for longer – Apr 28, 2021
Long domestic mill delivery lead times as physical market participants looked to hedge for imports to help fill the void in US demand. Import lead times have also increased. Cable support prices are expected to remain high.

Financial Express: Steel industry hoping for steady growth in 2021 – Apr 24, 2021
Developed countries, where steel consumption was set to reach a near plateau level, would together demand 8.2% more steel in 2021, while emerging economies excluding China is likely to clock a growth of 10.2% in steel demand. All other major steel producing countries have been projected to consume more steel in 2021. Construction, automobile, consumer technology and logistics infrastructure are key sectors supporting high demand.

Reuters Column: Iron ore and China steel output aren’t sticking to the script – Apr 22, 2021
Iron ore miners have been unable to ramp up production to meet demand from China, policymakers have yet to decide to curb steel production in order to limit pollution and accept a small hit to economic growth, or allow steel output to rise to meet the needs of robust economic growth.

Steelnews: Jobs at risk: Terrible stainless steel shortage 2021 continues – Apr 16, 2021
Aided by the Corona pandemic, serious structural problems in the global production, supply and distribution of steel and stainless steel have been evident since November 2020. Jobs have been delayed and many hardly know if urgently needed steel or stainless steel is still available at all!

euters: China steel prices retreat from record peaks, drag iron ore lower – Apr 8, 2021
Whilst there are some price drops, analysts said moves to rein in steel output in China – the world’s top producer and exporter of the construction and manufacturing material – should keep any pullback in prices in check. Robust domestic demand fuelled a rally in steel prices recently, along with concerns over output curbs as China rolls out new policies focusing on tighter environmental control that limits production capacities of mills.

Metal Bulletin FOCUS: Key effects of China’s latest industrial crackdown in Tangshan on steel sector – Mar 3, 2021
A crackdown on industrial activity in Tangshan, China’s steelmaking hub has caused increased steel prices due to tightened supply amidst continued demand. Steel production cuts and falling steel inventories will most likely push up prices for various steel products.

Hellenic shipping news: Steel traders alert for China steel export rebate cuts – Feb 26, 2021
Chinese steel associations proposed that in order to supplement domestic steel supply, rebates should be cut or removed as a means to limit steel exports amidst soaring global export sales. This might cause higher steel prices.

Steel News: Crazy steel shortage 2021: Where to get stainless steel now?– Feb 24, 2021
Demand has spiked way above demand and production has not been able to catch up.

Reuters: U.S. manufacturers grapple with steel shortages, soaring prices – Feb 23, 2021
USA domestic steel production is insufficient, analysts expect imports to pick up by June in USA but companies are delaying a ramp-up in production and a build-up in inventories to minimize overstock of high-price stock.

Financial Express: Steel prices may rise again this month – Dec 4, 2020
Hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices have strengthened in the international market by nearly 18% in the last two months leading to a significant rise in the Indian steel prices. Already at a 12-year high, prices of the benchmark steel product is expected to increase further on the back of rising domestic demand and iron ore prices, higher international prices, subdued production and limited imports, analysts said.