Offer prices in the export market for CIS long steel products increased during the week to Monday December 21 because of good demand and strong billet prices, sources told Fastmarkets.
But with demand for wire rod greater than that for rebar, the gap between the prices of these two products has widened.
*** CIS long steel , rebar
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), export, fob Black Sea, CIS was $630-650 per tonne on Monday, up from $600-610 per tonne a week earlier.
Rebar offers from both Russia and Ukraine were $630-650 per tonne fob, depending on volume and destination.
In contrasts, wire rod offers from Russia jumped by $120-125 week on week to $750 per tonne fob from $625-630 per tonne fob.
The gap with rebar offers has widened to as much as $80-100 per tonne while “it used to be $10-20 per tonne,” one source said.
“Rebar is sold by a lot of suppliers from different countries and almost in all markets there is a rebar market so competition is very high,” one trader said. “Many fewer mills produce wire rod and in some markets there are no local producers at all.”
“Demand for rebar comes almost solely from the construction sector while wire rod is consumed by the automotive and machinery industries as well, where demand is strong now,” the other trader said.
Wire rod offers at $750 per tonne were far from workable for buyers, however. One trader claimed to have received a wire rod offer from a Russian supplier at $735-740 per tonne fob but declined it.
Wire rod offers from Ukraine were heard at $680-700 per tonne fob.
*** CIS long steel , wire rod (mesh quality)
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh quality), export, fob Black Sea, CIS was $680-700 per tonne on Monday, up from $615-630 per tonne one week earlier.
On the day following the assessment – outside the data-gathering window – Fastmarkets heard of an unconfirmed sale of Russia-origin wire rod at $720-730 per tonne fob.
*** steel billet index
The bullish mood among suppliers were also supported by higher billet prices. Fastmarkets’ daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS was $569 per tonne on December 21, up by $29 per tonne from $540 per tonne one week earlier.
But one Russian supplier claims to have exited the billet market because it lacks sufficient material to make merchant billet while pig iron prices are so high. Producers are more attracted by the strong returns in the wire rod market.
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