Indian sponge Iron (DRI) exports to Bangladesh have witnessed a sharp growth in CY 2019, on the back of rising steel melting capacities in Bangladesh consistently pulling up the DRI demand. On an overall basis, India’s sponge Iron exports increased by 27% Y-o-Y, from 671,124 MT in CY ’18 to 854,251 MT during CY‘19. Bangladesh remained the largest importer of Sponge Iron from India, retaining its share of 54% in total India DRI exports, followed by Bhutan and Nepal, with a share of 20% and 15% respectively.
On a yearly basis, the DRI exports to Bangladesh from India moved up significantly by 26% Y-o-Y, recording exports of 461,256 MT in CY 2019, as against 365,447 MT in CY’ 18.
However, the Indian DRI export volumes to Bangladesh dominated more in H1 2019, when the export offers were in a sharp continuous decline from the beginning of 2019, as compared to the latter half when the offers majorly remained stable for the rest of the year. Starting from USD 340/MT CFR Chittagong levels in Jan’19, the offers to Bangladesh plunged by over USD 60/MT in 6 months and settling down at USD 280/MT CFR levels by the beginning of H2 2019.
On the contrary, imported scrap offers to bangladesh (from North America/Europe) remained at a significantly higher levels of USD 340-350/MT CFR Chittagong throughout the H1 ’19, before crashing down by USD 70/MT in H2′ 19, thus promoting Bangladeshi buyers towards more active DRI bookings in the first half of the year and giving more preference to imported scrap in the latter half of 2019.
Another reason for higher average imports by Bangladesh in H1 ’19 as compared to H2′ 19 is the aggressive restocking before the country’s annual budget in Jul‘19, on an anticipation of major tax policy changes in the same. Although,even after the budget concerns getting resolved and monsoon slowdown passing by, the domestic steel sales of bangladesh refused to improve all through the 2019 on persistently slow construction sector, thus affecting the raw material procurement towards the end of the year.
With many steel manufacturers in Bangladesh expanding their capacities and steel production, the DRI imports by Bangladesh from India are poised to rise further, likely increasing its share in Indian exports even further.
To know more on the trade dynamics of Bangladesh sponge iron imports, book your seat at SteelMint’s 3rd Steel and Raw Material Conference, Bangladesh and get a chance to hear views of renowned industry participants from across the globe. The conference is being organized on 23rd-24th March 2020 in Chittagong, Bangladesh.