Taiwan’s leading steelmaker, China Steel Corporation (CSC) revised steel prices on a monthly and quarterly basis in line with evolving market dynamics. Prices for July domestic sales were hiked by NT$450/mt ($15/mt) or by 1.87pc for HR, CR and GI plates from June, according to a company release.
On the other hand, the steelmaker reduced Q3 2020 sales prices for plates, bars, rods and HR-CR coils by NT$500/mt ($16.68/mt) or by 2.05pc from Q2.
Taiwan’s steel industry was hit by COVID-19 pandemic as it suffered significant losses due to drop in demand. The country’s GDP growth was 1.54pc. Taiwan’s economy is likely to rebound in the second half of 2020. Steelmakers witnessed a drop in export orders and raw material purchases were limited so far in the first half of 2020.
On the global front, the pandemic disrupted global supply chains and delayed shipments, which undermined Q1 economic performance with GDP growths of US and China down by 4.8pc and 6.8pc, respectively. However, to alleviate its impact, steelmakers have implemented production cuts and temporarily halted some blast furnaces.
Recovery in global steel prices
Chinese manufacturers have ramped up productions since April and hiked finished steel prices for June amid rising demand. In a month’s time, Shanghai HRC prices increased by CNY300/mt ($42/mt) and importers in South East Asia had to accept a price increase of $15-30/mt. US steel mills increased HRC prices by $50/mt late April due to higher raw material costs.
The second half of the year is traditionally a peak season for the steel industry with improved demand and prices. As more countries start to ease lockdown and release financial stimulus in H2, the global economy is expected to regain growth momentum over the short term.