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South Korean HRC imports rise in October

The import volumes of South Korean hot rolled coil are soaring at the same time as domestic output escalates as Posco’s new hot strip mill comes on stream, said MEPS International. 

This, combined with sluggish demand, is creating negative price pressure. However, after conceding a large discount in September, local producers have managed to maintain selling values.

In September, South Korean domestic shipbuilders fell behind their Japanese rivals in winning new orders for the third time this year, disadvantaged by the weakening yen. Local selling values for commodity plate have come under further pressure, down by 2.5 percent since our last report. There is severe internal competition, together with attractive import offers, MEPS added.

Although sales, of cold rolled coil, to local distributors are poor, demand from the automakers has picked up as their output revives. However, there is strong competition from Chinese cold rolled coil imports, which continue to swell in volume. During recent negotiations, customers have won another decrease.

Domestic car sales are improving, where auto output rose again in September, year-on-year. Export business is also healthy. However, there has been no substantial revival in construction demand for coated steel and the local electronics industry remains dull. Steelmakers have been forced to accept lower prices in the general market.

 September’s rise in the wire rod market proved to be short lived. Selling values have now reverted to their recent downward tendency, in a lethargic trading environment.

Hyundai has failed in its efforts to lift its structural section selling values by the proposed KRW30,000 per ton, but customers have accepted a portion of the rise. There is still a threat from Chinese exporters, despite the instigation of an anti-dumping investigation.

Declining scrap costs have encouraged Hyundai Steel, to cut rebar list prices by KRW5000 per ton for fourth quarter contracts. In the marketplace, last month’s small improvement lasted a short time. Demand remains slow and selling figures have lost 3.3 percent.

scrapregister

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