The Indian Pig Iron market sees stability as domestic Steel mills respond positively to inventory shortages. Prices, assessed by OfBusiness, fluctuated by Rs 100-300/ton WoW in central, east & north India. With demand improvements and higher input costs, Pig Iron prices are steady.
Pig Iron prices in the Indian domestic market have slightly changed in the second half of November 2023, following the improved response from domestic Steel mills that were short of inventories for Pig Iron.
According to OfBusiness assessments, prices in the major locations of central, east, and north India fluctuated by Rs 100-300/ton, week on week. Suppliers in eastern India reported an improvement in demand from local buyers and narrowing inventories.
Steel makers have started procuring material due to shortages in inventories and the hope of no further contraction in prices.
Alongside the shortage of inventories with mills, the return of the workforce after festive celebrations is another major factor that has somehow improved the lifting of materials, leading to an improvement in trade. High input costs are another major factor that has influenced industry buyers to take positions before prices get inflated to reduce the risk of losses.
With slight changes, the current prices of Pig Iron are hovering as follows:
- Durgapur at Rs 37,000-37,500/ton (an increase of Rs 200/ton week-on-week), ex-works.
- Raipur at Rs 36,800-37,000/ton (an increase of Rs 100-200/ton week-on-week), delivered.
- Ludhiana: Prices at Rs 39,800-40,000/ton (a decline of Rs 100-200/ton week-on-week), delivered.
- Ludhiana: Prices are in the range of Rs 42,500-43,000/ton (a decline of Rs 300/ton in a weekly comparison), delivered.
- Delhi: Prices stand at Rs 43,000-43,500/ton (a decline of Rs 200-300/ton on a week-on-week basis), delivered.
- Ahmedabad: Prices stand at Rs 46,500-47,000/ton (stable on a week-on-week basis), delivered.
- Kolhapur: Prices are at Rs 46,500-47,000/ton (stable on a week-on-week basis), delivered.
Here are the factors supporting in the Pig Iron Industry:
- Iron Ore Price Strengthening: Recovery in Chinese futures has positively influenced trends in the Indian market. On 23rd November, 2023, NMDC, India’s major miner, raised prices by Rs 200/ton.
Indian Pellet prices also strengthened with healthy exports to China. Iron Ore (Fe 62%) fines spot prices rose to around $136/ton CFR China on November 23, 2023, amid recovering Steel mill margins and restocking activities. The prices rose from the previous low levels recorded during mid October 2023 at around $115/ton CFR China. Improved margins from mills along the coastal area led to rising portside prices, prompting increased purchases based on necessity.
- Substitute Products’ Price Support: After a consistent fall in Scrap and Sponge Iron prices, the industry witnessed supportive trends in November, leading to increased confidence among Steel makers for procurement of metallic products including Pig Iron.
- Imported Scrap Price Rise: Ferrous scrap prices rebounded in the international market in November 2023, leading to a surge in import offers for India. According to assessments, imported scrap offers to India surged by $5-10/ton week-on-week and by $25-30/ton overall compared to bottom-level prices in October 2023.
- High Production Cost: Pig Iron producers remained cautious due to higher input costs, pushing for price increases with improvement in demand. Coking Coal prices stayed elevated, currently hovering at $325-330/ton CFR India, compared to the lower levels recorded during June-July 2023 at around $245-250/ton, indicating higher manufacturing input costs.
Given the improved buying and recovery in the global Finished Steel market, including Chinese futures, industry participants believe that Pig Iron prices will remain supported, anticipating no significant further price declines in the coming days considering the high cost of raw materials.
With improved demand from Steel mills, recovery in global market, and a rebound in substitute product prices, the Indian Pig Iron market maintains stability. With higher production costs, industry participants foresee ongoing support, expecting no significant price decline shortly.