Flat steel import prices in South America mostly continued to rise in the week to Friday September 11, with both deals and new offers being reported at higher levels, supported by recovering demand and lower availability from mills, market participants said.
More restricted export allocations from China, Japan and Brazil, as well as gradual restarts in activity on the continent, were still driving prices upward. On the other hand, the steel plate market was still under pressure due to anemic consumption in the region.
“South America is slowly returning to normal steel demand levels with countries easing the restrictions needed because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” one US-based trader source said.
While some clients, particularly on the Pacific coast, were trying to secure imported supply as soon as possible amid this persisting uptrend, others preferred to stay away, especially those in Brazil.
“Orders from Brazil remain for low-tonnage cargoes, and import momentum doesn’t seem like it will pick up any time soon,” a Brazil-based trader source said.
*** Hot-rolled coil
Fastmarkets assessed the price for flat steel hot-rolled coil, import, cfr main ports South America, at $560-585 per tonne on Friday, an increase of $10-15 per tonne from $550-570 per tonne a week before.
The majority of Chinese offers to the Pacific coast were heard at $565-575 per tonne during the week, but there were reports of deals being made around $560 per tonne. Brazil received offers at $575-580 per tonne.
At least one market participant said that clients in Peru and Ecuador had bought Chinese HRC at $575-580 per tonne. Brazil-origin HRC was sold at $580-585 per tonne to Pacific-coast clients.
November-shipment cargoes were presented from Japan to Pacific South America at $600 per tonne, but the feasibility of this price had yet to be tested with customers.
*** Cold-rolled coil
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil, import, cfr main ports South America, was also up during the week to $625-650 per tonne on Friday, from $615-630 per tonne on September 4.
There were reports of some deals for Chinese CRC concluded in Pacific South America at prices close to the bottom end of the assessed range. New offers, on the other hand, were issued at $635-640 per tonne to the Pacific coast, and at $650 per tonne to Brazil.
Meanwhile, new Japan-origin offers for the Pacific coast were presented at $660 per tonne. Again, this price level had yet to be accepted by buyers.
*** Hot-dipped galvanized coil
Additionally, Fastmarkets assessed the price of steel hot-dipped galvanized coil, import, cfr main ports South America, significantly higher on Friday at $675-690 per tonne, compared with $650-665 per tonne in the previous week.
China-based mills increased their offers to Pacific-coast countries to around $675-680 per tonne, and Brazilian importers were presented offers at $690 per tonne. Clients on the Pacific coast also received offers from Japan at $730 per tonne.
No deals were reported.
Fastmarkets’ assessment for steel coil, Galvalume, import, cfr main ports South America, remained unchanged on Friday from a week before at $750-770 per tonne, with demand for the product subsiding during the week.
*** Steel plate
But Fastmarkets’ price assessment for flat steel import, cfr main ports South America, widened downward by $10 per tonne to $540-555 per tonne, from $550-555 per tonne on September 4.
Only a few market participants heard offers from China to South America, mostly around $545-555 per tonne. And although Japan-origin plate was most recently presented at $550-560 per tonne, at least one deal was reported at $540 per tonne.
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