The export price for CIS-origin steel billet rose by 1.16% day on day on Friday May 21 after sellers switched to nearer markets such as Africa and Turkey in the absence of Chinese customers.
Interest for imported billet in China remained non-existent amid falling semi-finished and finished long steel prices domestically. This diminishing demand had caused the billet price to fall in every pricing session this week from $720 per tonne on May 17.
The steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic price, ex-whs Eastern China was 5,100-5,150 yuan ($793-800) per tonne on Friday, unchanged day on day and down by 650-680 yuan per tonne week on week.
The Tangshan domestic billet price dropped to 5,150 yuan ($800) per tonne ex-works this week, down by 150 yuan day on day and 670 yuan week on week.
After value-added tax, the local price works out at $708 per tonne. In this price environment, bids for imported billet did not exceed $700 per tonne cfr, which would net back to $640 per tonne fob had the cargo been shipped from the Black Sea basin.
No CIS mill or trader was ready to sell material at this price. In such conditions they switched to nearer markets such as Africa and Turkey.
Following a 15,000 tonnes deal from a Russian mill done earlier in the week to Turkey within the range of $679-686 per tonne fob, another 10,000-tonne cargo was heard sold by a compatriot producer at $702 per tonne fob.
Two more cargoes of CIS-origin billet were heard sold by traders within the range of $700-715 per tonne cfr Turkey. This would be equivalent to $680-695 per tonne fob Black Sea.
A Ukrainian producer reported a 20,000-tonne cargo being sold to Africa at $715 per tonne fob.
As a result, Fastmarkets’ daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS increased to $699 per tonne on Friday, up by $8 per tonne day on day.
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