Is it a mirage or is it real? Are we seeing a steel recovery? There are mixed signs but Chinese price hikes are holding and mills are trying for further increases. The domestic market prices are well above the prices mills can achieve in the export market thanks to the massive economic stimulation from the Chinese Government. Of course Chinese exports are limited with these high prices. The situation is giving a breather to the other regions to pick themselves up and reduce inventories.
We believe prices will continue holding and firming up in general atleast in the short term. Buyers will need to restock as their inventories run low. Of course there is an overhang of capacities across the globe and the economic situation in many countries is precarious to put in mildly.
However the Chinese with their capacities and ability to move the prices both ways (up and down) by USD 100/- PMT, one cannot but take cognizance of the last two months, their domestic market prices and the economic stimulation.
These are not green shoots for a steel recovery but it is definitely a breather.