Exporters of CIS billet remained bullish despite the lack of trading activity in the Black Sea basin this week, sources told Fastmarkets on Thursday April 1.
The producers remained positive amid expectations of price rises in China due to the possible removal or reduction in its export tax rebate, along with the recovery in finished long steel prices in Turkey amid improved demand and higher scrap costs.
“Every [CIS] mill now wants a minimum of $580 per tonne fob,” a European trader told Fastmarkets.
Meanwhile, trading activity in the Black Sea basin was limited.
*** Turkish customers
Interest from Turkish customers was minimal this week after 70,000 tonnes of billet was traded in the domestic market at $585-590 per tonne ex-works.
Market participants said CIS-origin billet was on offer to Turkey at $595-600 per tonne cfr (equivalent to $575-580 per tonne fob Black Sea). Rare bids were reported at $575 per tonne cfr (or $550-555 per tonne fob).
No bookings were heard done in the week to Thursday April 1 due to the mismatch between bids and offers.
*** Freight issues
Freight issues were another obstacle to trading activity, sources said.
“Freight rates are changing day by day and it is hard to get any commitments,” one trader said.
In North Africa, offers of CIS-origin billet were heard at $605-610 per tonne cfr, which would net back to $575-580 per tonne fob. Customer price ideas were said to be below $600 per tonne cfr (or $570 per tonne fob Black Sea).
*** CIS billet index
Fastmarkets’ daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS, was calculated at $573 per tonne on April 1, down by $3 per tonne day on day.
After the assessment was filed several sources reported the sale of a Ukraine-origin cargo to a trader at $575 per tonne fob Black Sea.
Some demand for CIS-origin billet was also seen in China this week, with a large cargo of Russia-origin billet said to have been shipped from the country’s Far East ports and sold at $615-620 per tonne cfr.
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