The CIS steel billet in the export market was largely quiet in the week to Friday October 16 due to a mismatch between sellers’ and customers’ price expectations.
*** CIS steel billet
Offers of CIS steel billet were heard mainly within the range of $410-415 per tonne fob Black Sea, but some suppliers were seeking even higher numbers, according to market participants’ reports.
Meanwhile, customers’ prices ideas rarely exceeded $400 per tonne fob in the majority of destinations, because of a lack of demand for finished long steel products and uncertainty about the future price trend.
***Domestic billet prices in Turkey
Domestic billet prices in Turkey slipped over the week due to the downturn in scrap costs.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel billet, domestic, exw Turkey, was $410-415 per tonne on Thursday, down from $413-420 per tonne week on week.Market sources reported some bookings done at the upper end of the range.
“Why would you buy from the CIS at higher prices if domestic billet is available at $415 per tonne ex-works?” one trader said.
Bids for CIS-origin material were heard at $410-415 per tonne cfr in the country, which would correspond to $395-400 per tonne fob Black Sea.
*** safeguard duty in Egypt
In Egypt, interest in imported billet remained non-existent despite the reduction of the Middle Eastern country’s safeguard duty to 13% from 16% earlier in the week.
Egyptian re-rollers producing rebar said that $410 per tonne cfr would be workable for them. This would correspond to $390 per tonne fob Black Sea.
Customers in Tunisia and Morocco were looking for some billet tonnages this week, according to market sources, and a small cargo of Russian billet was heard sold to Tunisia at $412 per tonne fob Black Sea at the beginning of the week.
*** Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
Customers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region have also been looking to procure large billet tonnages recently. Bids were heard as high as $435 per tonne cfr, which would correspond to $400 per tonne fob Black Sea.
“[But] CIS prices would not be accepted in the GCC because Iranian material is being offered at a much lower level,” one trader said.
*** Iranian billet
The latest sales of Iranian billet were heard at $407-413 per tonne fob southern Iranian ports. The cost of freight in the Persian Gulf was estimated to be around $16 per tonne by market participants.
In Asia, interest in CIS steel billet has also been low.
While Chinese customers were holding back from import bookings in general, amid a subdued domestic market, in Southeast Asia customers would prefer to book material from elsewhere in the region.
Several cargoes of billet from India, Vietnam and Japan were heard traded in Southeast Asia at $447-450 per tonne cfr over the week, while recent bookings of billet from Russian suppliers shipping from the country’s Far East ports were done at $445 per tonne cfr. This price would correspond to $400-405 per tonne fob had the cargo been shipped from the Black Sea basin.
Fastmarkets’ daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS, was calculated at $408 per tonne on Friday, down by $2 per tonne day on day.