Amid COVID-19 crisis and the resulting slump in the domestic steel sector, Indian primary mills have turned to newer overseas markets.
Mills have booked export orders for April, May and June deliveries from Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia for billets and plates. European countries like Denmark, Germany, France and Italy have turned to India for imports of plates, blooms and rails. Trades with usual Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Taiwan also continues.
China, a major exporter to these countries is at present importing billets and pig iron from India. Post COVID-19 outbreak, China’s domestic steel demand has risen. Davis Index had previously reported about demand in Chinese home appliances, auto and real estate sectors picking up.
A south based primary mill booked an export order to China of around 100,000mt of billets at $360/mt fob India on LC payment basis according to Davis Index sources. A trade for 25,000mt of pig iron for the May end shipment was also heard.
Production in other supplier countries like Japan, South Korea and Russia remains hit. In India, though production has been curtailed, a plummeted domestic demand has led to excess inventories with large primary mills. At present, these mills are working at 40-50pc capacity, with plans to ramp up output in the near term.