SHANGHAI, Apr 26 (SMM) – Domestic iron ore concentrate prices rose across the board last week, with prices up 20-70 yuan/mt across most regions. Some beneficiation plants and independent pellet plants in Hebei, Liaoning and Shanxi closed for rectification due to the ongoing environmental protection inspections. Higher pellet prices also lifted domestic concentrate prices. High profit at steel mills and limited arrivals of imported pellets boosted demand and prices of domestic pellets. For example, pellet prices in Dai County, Shanxi rose by more than 100 yuan/mt, and ex-factory prices of Fe65% rotary kiln pellets rose to 1,750 yuan/mt (including tax). Pellet prices in Anhui also rose 50 yuan/mt.
Prices in Qian'an, Hebei saw the biggest increase among all regions. Production restrictions at steel mills in Hebei weighed on concentrate prices in Qian'an earlier, attracting steel mills and traders from Shandong, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia to purchase from this region. This, combined with output loss caused by environmental protection checks, significantly bolstered prices in Qian'an.
SMM expects domestic concentrate prices to climb further this week due to tight supply caused by environmental inspections and stockpiling by steel mills ahead of the Labour Day long holidays.