REVIEW OF 2011: A year of contrasts for HRC exports from the CIS

Dec 28, 2011 | 04:38 AM |

When it comes to hot rolled coil exports from the CIS, traders and industry observers view the past year as one of complete opposites.

“I suppose it was a year of two halves,” one analyst told Metal Bulletin.

Many mills in the former Soviet Union spent the first couple months of 2011 pushing up their prices, some of them even seeking a month-on-month hike of $100 per tonne in the first quarter.

But they then spent the latter months of 2011 making large price cuts, and are only now starting to claw their way back.

The price hikes began almost immediately at the start of 2011 as Russian and Ukrainian mills signalled their readiness to seek increases of up to $40 on their HRC exports for February rolling. This was because of high raw materials costs and strong demand for the flat rolled product.

This demand saw prices rise for February production, and by late January Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel’s (MMK's) offers for HRC were up $80 to more than $720-730 per tonne fob Black Sea. ....

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