Indian steelmakers increased export sales again in February. Export volumes will remain high till the end of this financial year on weaker domestic demand and high global prices.
In February, finished steel export from India went up by 15% year-on-year and by 25% month-on-month to 655,000 t, according to the provisional data of the Joint Plant Committee (JPC). The sellers benefited from the demand-supply imbalance and higher prices in Europe.
The export volumes will continue to climb in March and April. Domestic steel consumption dropped by 6% month-on-month in February, while imports lost 21%, according to JPC.
After facing resistance from local buyers, since most customers had replenished their stocks, Indian mills had to reduce domestic prices last month.
However, the international prices remained robust. In late February, an Indian HRC producer fixed $ 825-830 / t CFR in deals to Europe, whereas domestic quotes were voiced at around $ 725-729 / t ex-Mumbai.
Indian integrated mills maintained domestic HRC prices mostly stable in March to clear their inventories with FY21 coming to an end, and to begin the new year (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022) with a price rise.
“The export prices are going up like crazy. I think from April 1, Indian mills will increase domestic offers, ”a local trader commented.
Over April 2020 – February 2021 India exported 9.49 million t of finished steel, which is 22% higher than over the same period of last year, JPC reports.