Metal stocks surge as steel producers hike prices again on buoyant demand
The rally in metal stocks continued on Monday, with steel companies announcing another round of price hike of ₹1,500 a tonne for hot-rolled coil in January. Similarly, TMT rebar prices were hiked by ₹2,400 a tonne as the demand from infrastructure and real estate projects is looking up.
The industry is preparing for another price increase of ₹3,000 a tonne by mid-January as the domestic prices are still at discount to international rates .
Tata Steel and JSW Steel touched a new 52-week high of ₹699 and ₹405, respectively, on Monday. However, profit-booking pulled down Tata Steel marginally and the stock closed with a gain of 8 per cent at ₹693, while JSW Steel ended 3 per cent higher at ₹403.
Similarly, aluminium producers Hindalco Industries and Nalco were up 6 per cent each at ₹254 and ₹47. State-owned SAIL and NMDC gained 5 per cent each at ₹79 and ₹122, respectively.
The buoyant demand for metals across the globe on the back of raising raw material cost has enthused Indian metal companies to push up prices even as user-industries have criticised them for taking advantage of the situation.
Steel companies have demanded a ban on exports of high-grade fines and lumps export for six months to increase domestic supply. They want State-owned miners such as Odisha Mineral Company and the Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha to prioritise supply to domestic end-users over exports.
Steel producers have sought directions to OMC, OMDC and IDCOL to restrict their e-auctions of iron ore only for end-users such as pellets or steel manufacture in India.
Vinod Karki, Research Analysts, ICICI Securities, said government policy reforms such as lower taxes, labour reforms, ease of doing business and digitalisation to make India attractive as a global manufacturing hub are improving the long-term demand outlook which is reflecting in the bull run in stock market.
However, the broking firm is ‘cautious to negative’ on metal stocks outlook for this year.
The current rally would sustain in the near term due to Chinese demand stimuli, artificial raw material shortages through restrictions on scrap imports. These factors help all the commodities, iron ore and aluminium, in particular, it said.
Chinese steel demand continues to surprise . Despite a 13 per cent growth in production, there has hardly been any increase in exports.
Source: The Hindu Business Line