The domestic price of steel rebar remained stable in Brazil in June, but market participants were uncertain about the price outlook for the finished steel product, questioning the stability of the global price uptrend and noting lower scrap costs in the country.
There were reports of one mill announcing a price increase for the month and others debating whether such rise was feasible, but the majority of quotes were at the same level as reported in May.
Fastmarkets assessed the price for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, monthly, delivered Brazil at 5,560-5,690 Reais ($۱,۰۸۶٫۱۱-۱,۱۱۱٫۵۰) per tonne on Friday June 11, unchanged from a month earlier and slightly down from 5,630-5,700 Reais per tonne on April 9.
Still, that assessment was up by 45.26% at the midpoint of the range from 3,800-3,945 Reais per tonne on December 11, 2020, and 139.36% higher than 2,290-2,410 Reais per tonne on June 12, 2020.
Steelmakers had been considering a 7-15% increase since mid-April but decided to postpone it in May and June amid global price volatility. For June, at least one steelmaker was reported as going forward with raising prices by 5%, but the majority of market participants suspected that would not be sustainable.
Most offers were issued within the assessed range for the Brazilian southeast region. Some, which were subject to the aforementioned 5% increase, were at 5,800-5,900 Reais per tonne.
“Supply is still insufficient to meet all demand from distributors and construction companies but, at least on a retail level, consumption started to show signs of stability,” one distributor source said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish price uptrend lost steam in recent weeks, capping mills’ pricing power. Brazilian producers usually aim for a 10-15% premium over imported rebar when determining their own prices.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) export, fob main port Turkey was $745-760 per tonne on Thursday June 10, up from $730-740 per tonne a week before but still down from $750-760 per tonne on May 27 and lower than $780-790 per tonne on May 20.
On top of that, domestic ferrous scrap costs in Brazil also decreased, reducing fundamentals for finished steel prices to continue rising, according to participants.
The country’s ferrous scrap association, Inesfa, said on Wednesday June 9 that scrap consumption was still heated, but steelmakers engaged in tougher negotiations and imported more scrap than traditionally, creating an oversupply scenario.
Fastmarkets does not assess Brazilian domestic scrap prices.
According to data from the ministry of economy, Brazil imported 180,360 tonnes of ferrous scrap in the January-May period this year, materially higher than 4,924 tonnes in the corresponding period of 2020.
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