Lower offer prices for flat steel from China to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia made buyers postpone booking during the week to Tuesday May 25, sources told Fastmarkets.
Demand was expected to improve in the countries after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but buyers are opting to wait and see if price decreases will continue, Fastmarkets heard. “We are planning to make some bookings next week, but if prices continue falling we can postpone that,” one buyer in the UAE said.
Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index export, fob main port China was calculated at $892.94 per tonne on Tuesday, down by $82.32 per tonne week on week from $975.26 per tonne on May 18. The price has been on the decline after the Chinese government called for stable commodity prices. But some market participants believe the price decreases are temporary due to strong demand in Europe.
Saudi Arabia ***
HRC was offered at $950-960 per tonne cfr from China, down from offers at $1,000-1,020 per tonne cfr last week. India offered HRC at $1,100-1,110 per tonne cfr, with one buyer bidding $1,040-1,050 per tonne cfr for the material. No deals were heard. Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr Saudi Arabia was $950-1,050 per tonne on Tuesday, falling from $1,000-1,100 per tonne on May 18.
Hot-rolled coil ***
Hot-rolled coil was offered to the UAE at $1,000 per tonne cfr at the beginning of the week, and then later in the week at $930-950 per tonne cfr from China. Offers were at $1,090-1,010 per tonne cfr from China to the UAE last week. India offered HRC at $1,100 per tonne cfr. No deals were heard but one buyer was bidding $1,040-1,050 per tonne cfr for Indian HRC. Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr Jebel Ali, UAE was $930-1,050 per tonne on Tuesday, a fall of $30-60 from $990-1,080 per tonne a week ago.
Hot-dipped galvanized coil ***
Hot-dipped galvanized coil import prices to the UAE were mostly stable because the market traditionally has a delayed reaction to the price changes of HRC. Chinese HDG was on offer at $1,175-1,200 per tonne cfr for 1mm thick Z275 coated coil, compared with offers at $1,180-1,200 per tonne cfr last week. Indian 0.50mm thick HDG with Z275 coating was on offer at $1,400 per tonne cfr UAE, with buyers indicating a workable price to be $1,350-1,360 per tonne cfr.
The price difference between material from China and India reflects the fact that India-origin HDG is quality assured and certified for use in the UAE by the authorities there. Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HDG, import, cfr Jebel Ali, UAE was $1,175-1,350 per tonne on Tuesday, widening downward by $5 from $1,180-1,350 per tonne last week.
Cold-rolled coil from China was offered at $990-1,010 per tonne cfr from China to the UAE this week, down from offers at $1,070-1,080 per tonne cfr last week. No new prices were heard from India, but buyers believe Indian CRC will be quoted at $1,080-1,090 per tonne cfr. No deals were heard. The weekly price assessment for steel CRC, import, cfr Jebel Ali, UAE was $990-1,080 per tonne on Tuesday, widening downward by $80 from $1,070-1,080 per tonne on May 18.
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