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Volatility in steel prices to continue in medium-term: SteelMint

The volatility in steel prices is likely to continue in the medium-term due to the impact of geopolitical situation on supply chain logistics, according to SteelMint. Last week, steel makers increased the prices of hot-rolled coil (HRC) by Rs 1,400 to Rs 60,700 per tonne from Rs 59,300 a tonne on February 22, the research firm said in a report.

In the last six months, the steel prices have not been stable. The user industry has been witnessing price revisions on a weekly basis.

“The volatility in the prices is likely to continue in the medium-term on account of geo-political situations across the globe impacting the supply chain,” SteelMint said.

This situation has led to changing supply-demand scenarios impacting prices of raw materials and logistics, it said.

Iron ore fines with iron (Fe) content of 62 per cent were moved up to Rs 5,480 tonne in February, from Rs 4,400 tonne in December 2022.

Similarly, imported hard-coking coal (HCC) prices increased steeply during this period.

The average price of HCC stood around USD 263 tonne in the first week of December. The prices increased to USD 396 tonne by February 18. Iron ore and coking coal are the two key raw materials required for steel manufacturing.

While iron ore is sourced is available from domestic mines, for coking coal steel producers remain dependent on imports.

Any movement in prices of raw materials has a direct impact on prices of steel which affects the user industries like real estate and housing, infrastructure and construction, automobile and consumer goods.

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