Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC import, cfr Vietnam – which mainly looks at Chinese 2-3mm re-rolling-grade SAE1006 HRC and equivalent products sold into Vietnam – was $451-452 per tonne cfr for the week ending Monday September 23, down by $6-13 per tonne from a week earlier.
A South Korean trader was heard to have sold about 30,000-40,000 tonnes of Russian HRC at $441-442 per tonne cfr Vietnam to a few pipe producers in Haiphong, in northeastern Vietnam. This transaction involves November-shipment small pipemaking HRC of up to 13 tonnes, and the price is equivalent to about $451-452 per tonne cfr Vietnam for mainstream HRC weighing up to 23 tonnes.
November-shipment mainstream HRC from the same Russian producer was also heard to have been sold by traders at $451-452 per tonne cfr Vietnam, though this could not be confirmed at the time of writing.
Offers for Indian HRC have stopped falling recently because domestic demand in India is expected to recover once the monsoon season ends in October, market sources said.
“There is some consensus in the market that prices are more stable now and that the bottom has been reached. But there is also little reason for prices to move up sharply anytime soon,” a trader in Vietnam told Fastmarkets last Friday.
Industry sources in Vietnam said buyers in the country were more inclined to purchase materials from domestic mill Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp, which is said to be willing to give discounts off its November list prices.
“A discount of up to $10 per tonne may be given if a buyer purchases larger amounts,” a local industry source said last Friday.
Chinese SS400 HRC was offered at $470-475 per tonne cfr Vietnam, considerably higher than those from India, Russia and Brazil due to higher domestic prices in China.
But Chinese steel mills are not too optimistic about the market after October.
“The production cuts this year are not expected to be very significant. Furthermore, downstream demand after the National Day holiday will likely remain weak until the end of the year,” a source at a major Chinese steel mill said last Thursday.
China is taking a weeklong break from October 1 to mark its 70th National Day.
A major exporter in China maintained its list price of $475 per tonne fob China for base-grade HRC. It is offering HRC to the South Korean market at $485 per tonne fob.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel HRC domestic, ex-whs eastern China was 3,600-3,610 yuan ($508-509) per tonne last Friday, down 80-100 yuan per tonne from 3,680-3,710 yuan per tonne a week earlier.
Fastmarkets’ steel HRC index export, fob main port China was at $453.13 per tonne on the same day, down $7.83 per tonne over the same period.