FIS has been actively developing international markets in steel and scrap for the last decade, working with exchanges including SGX, CME and LME to improve price discovery and enable traders to manage their steel supply chain risk.
Global steel market production in 2017 was 1.69bn tonnes – some 49% of which was produced in China, making it the world’s second largest commodity after oil. Global scrap production is around 500-600m tonnes annually, with China accounting for 150m tonnes of domestic production. Steel prices have been highly volatile, particularly for rebar steels used in construction, with a knock-on effect to iron ore and coking coal prices.
FIS offers a broad suite of steel derivatives products, developed in response to market demand for cleared, cash-settled futures in Rebar, HRC and scrap products including the popular CME US Midwest HRC contract which traded 1.25m tonnes in 2017.
The principal China domestic market for steel futures is the Shanghai Futures Exchange, where traded rebar volumes were 13.1bn tonnes in 2017 with price moves as high as RMB4098 and as low as RMB2839. FIS is planning to develop and launch a new China-focussed steel contract and sees untapped opportunity for a steel instrument that could be used to hedge price risk.