In India, average price of hot rolled coil (steel) rose 55% from ₹44,880 per tonne in November last year to ₹69,600 a tonne in October this year. Cold rolled coil prices rose 81% to ₹90,880 per tonne from ₹50,060 per tonne in November 2020. With prices showing no signs of abating, metal producers such as Tata Steel are laughing all the way to the bank. In the first half of this financial year (April– September), listed metal and mineral companies reported an all-time high net profit of ₹82,500 crore, close to 14 times the ₹6,000 crore in the same period of the previous financial year. With metal makers getting pricing power, demand remaining high, and profitability rising, is the metal sector in the middle of a super cycle?
After all, LME prices of metals such as zinc, lead, nickel and tin, too, have seen a similar trend in the last one year. Tin prices on LME, for instance, have more than doubled to $3,772.30 per 100kg since October 2020. The benchmark S&P GSCI index, a barometer of commodities markets, has more than doubled from its April 2020 low of 241.45 to 567.13 (November 19).