Amid tight allocations for hot rolled coil and comparatively better realisations in domestic sales, Indian mills continue to skip export sales this week.

Chinese and other Asian-origin mills are aggressively floating their offers, at lower levels than Indian mills’ indications, thus making it unviable for Indian mills to make outbound sales at low numbers, sources tell Kallanish.

Furthermore, the order position of Indian mills in the domestic market is better. "Many mills have advanced orders for 20-25 days," says a domestic trading source. "There is good demand and offtake of HRC in India, and owing to this, the mills have raised their offers by INR 1,250/tonne ($15.05) in the domestic market."

Indian mills’ price idea for structural-grade HRC is noted at $690-695/t cfr Antwerp versus the market expectation of $650-660/t cfr Europe. A deal for 3,000-5,000 tonnes of 2-metre-wide structural grade HRC was rumoured to be concluded at $730-735/t cfr Antwerp.

Indian mills have claimed to sell small lots of HRC at $680-690/t cfr Antwerp, but no major bookings are heard this week.

"Indian mills do not have surplus allocations of HRC," says another source. "Their captive consumption for producing downstream flat products and domestic orders leave very limited allocations for export, and they do not want to negotiate on it. The mills, however, continue to offer cold rolled coil and galvanized steel."

Indian mills are claiming to sell CRC at $750-760/t cfr Antwerp, and small tonnages of 0.58mm Z140 galvanized were sold at $840-845/t cfr Antwerp.

Meanwhile, no offers for Indian HRC were heard in the Gulf Cooperation Council or Vietnam.

In the Indian domestic market, Indian HRC producers have raised their HRC and CRC offers by INR 1,250/t and INR 1,750/t, respectively.

Retail E250-grade offers are heard at INR 57,000-57,250/t ex-Mumbai. Offers for E350 and GP coils are noted at INR 59,500-60,000/t and INR 66,000-65,500/t, respectively, ex-Mumbai. Meanwhile, offers for CRC are voiced at INR 62,500-63,000/t ex-Mumbai.

According to sources this week, Chinese HRC offers to India were heard at $570-580/t cfr India. A few bookings were heard concluding at these levels this week.

According to market participants, the production losses due to shutdowns have slashed HRC supply in India. Mills are banking on European buyers to resume their purchases in the hope of a possible price uptick.