Spiral steel pipe prices began to fall in May
Although the demand for spiral steel pipes has been shrinking in the process of slowing domestic economic growth, since the beginning of 2019, the four major mines have continued to increase production with the support of lower production costs, and the supply continues to increase. In the first quarter of 2019, the output of the four major mines increased significantly year-on-year. In the second quarter, except for FMG, the output of the other three major mines continued to grow year-on-year. According to the seasonal law, the annual high output will appear in the third quarter, and the medium-term ore supply is likely to maintain a growing trend.
According to the output data of the steel industry, since the beginning of 2019, the monthly crude steel output has continued to decline slightly, and the decline has expanded. From January to July, the cumulative output of crude steel was about 480 million tons, a year-on-year decline of 1%. In July 2019, the output of crude steel, pig iron and domestic iron ore was 65.84 million tons, 57.33 million tons and 126.19 million tons respectively, a decrease of 3.11 million tons, 1.71 million tons and 2.29 million tons, a decrease of 4.5% from the previous period. %, 1.8%, a year-on-year decrease of 4.6%, 4.8%, 7.5%.
The steel company's strategy of purchasing spiral steel pipe also changed with the fall of the mining price. Taking the latest inventory situation in August 2019 as an example, the average number of days of imported ore inventory available was about 22 days, which was significantly lower than the 30 days in the same period last year. Affected by the low price, the spiral spiral steel pipe stocks in July-September remained at a level of about 80 million tons, a significant decline from the 110 million tons in the same period last year. Low inventory in the port is one of the important factors driving the price to rebound. The low inventory situation can last for a long time, depending on the domestic import iron ore data and the shipment volume of the foreign mine.
In the long run, there has been no substantial change in the pattern of high supply and sluggish demand. However, in the short to medium term, due to factors such as low inventory, deep discounts on futures, and small peaks in steel mill purchases before the September military parade, prices have seen a downward trend in the previous period. With the arrival of foreign mine shipments and domestic import peaks in the fourth quarter, the momentum of spiral steel pipes will continue to decline.
At present, the large-diameter spiral steel pipe billet is reported at 1,560 yuan/ton, and the strip steel is reported at 1,740 yuan. The price difference between the two is only 180 yuan, and the manufacturers are in a state of loss. In particular, in the state of slab rolling, the strip produced today is the billet of yesterday, which is the cost of yesterday, and the loss is even more serious. Some tons of losses are more than 100 yuan.
In addition to the overhaul of the Daqiuzhuang area in Tianjin, the steel mills in Tangshan and Shengfang districts have limited production and limited production due to factors such as the cost of the smoldering furnace and the market share. The maintenance of one city and one place is difficult to prevent the downward trend of the national strip, and the market supply pressure persists. On the one hand, it is difficult to be optimistic on the downstream side. On the one hand, with the increasing awareness of environmental protection, it is difficult for some enterprises that do not meet the standards for sewage disposal equipment to start work, especially for galvanized pickling manufacturers, which consume less on large-diameter spiral steel pipes; on the other hand, downstream hardware Orders in other industries are generally not ideal, and the procurement of raw materials is also very cautious, and it is difficult to follow up the transaction. The strip market, which is different from the trend of billet raw materials, is not optimistic. In the past month, the Tangshan Ruifeng 232-355 specification strip has dropped 100 yuan/ton, and the current unit price of 1740 yuan has become a new low in recent years. Whether the strip can stabilize or stop the trend in the later period.