China pig iron prices rise 4% on month in Jan amid uptrend in local steel market
Singapore (Platts)--28Jan2013/404 pm EST/2104 GMT
Domestic prices of steelmaking pig iron in North China's Hebei province
rose by Yuan 100/mt ($16/mt), or around 4%, over the past one month,
reflecting the continuous uptrend in domestic steel prices, market sources
As of January 28, transaction prices for grade L8 and L10 pig iron --
the commodity's mainstream grades -- reached Yuan 2,800-2,850/mt, up from
Yuan 2,700-2,750/mt on December 28. Both prices include 17% VAT, sources
Offers in Hebei were as high as Yuan 2,950-3,000/mt, they said. Chinese
domestic prices of flat rolled carbon steel have risen by about 14% since
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"Pig iron transaction prices over the month topped Yuan 2,900/mt when
imported iron ore prices approached $160/mt CFR China. But prices retreated
afterwards when iron ore softened," an official from a local steel mill said.
Market participants were confident that prices will remain stable over
the coming month and might even increase slightly, but were concerned about
prices from March. "Steel mills and trading houses are generally optimistic
about steel demand this year, and this is encouraging China's top-tier steel
mills to raise their list prices for the first quarter," an official from a
second local steel mill said.
But this optimism will be tested in March when China's political leaders
gather in Beijing to finalize the country's economic development and
government policies for 2013, the mill official said.
"The steel market will be disappointed if the central government fails
to release any concrete stimulus policies," he said, adding that the absence
of such announcements will pressure domestic steel prices.
For 2012, China produced 657.9 million mt of pig iron, up 3.7% year on
year, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.
--Hongmei Li, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Russ McCulloch, email@example.com, and Haripriya