Spot demand for imported hot-rolled coil in Vietnam dipped in the week to Friday July 23 after major domestic producers in the Southeast Asian country issued new offers.
Major blast furnace-based producer Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp listed its September-delivery cargoes of SAE1006 HRC with no skin pass at $970 per tonne cif, while skin-pass HRC of the same grade carries a $5-per-tonne premium. The mill is offering SS400 and pipe-making grade HRC at $965 per tonne cif.
Hoa Phat Steel also offered SS400 and pipemaking-grade HRC to domestic buyers at $925 per tonne cif this week.
This is similar to offers from Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (MMK).
Major blast furnace-based Indian steel mills were offering cargoes of SAE1006 HRC at $930-935 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week.
But demand for imports was limited due to buyers negotiating with Formosa Ha Tinh and Hoa Phat for domestic supply.
Many buyers had also booked large quantities of Indian HRC last week, and as such were not looking to buy more cargoes.
“The spot market should remain quiet for around two more weeks before demand for imports emerges again,” a source at a major Vietnamese galvanizer told Fastmarkets on Friday July 23.
Indian SS400 HRC was offered at $900-910 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, although sources said Indian steelmakers were willing to sell as low as $890 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
“I could probably conclude some transactions if I get any bids at $895 per tonne cfr Vietnam,” a steel trader in Hong Kong told Fastmarkets on Friday.
Vietnamese galvanizers are maintaining their production rates despite a ruling from the government requiring all workers to be restricted within factory compounds amid a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“The impact on output has been limited so far,” a source at a second major galvanizer told Fastmarkets on Friday.
There is mixed sentiment about whether Vietnamese exports of galvanized coil would be affected by a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country, especially with some ports expected to experience a drop in manpower and lower operating rates.
“There could be a 20-30% drop in galvanized exports in July and August,” a Vietnamese trader estimated.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr Vietnam, which mainly looks at 2-3mm rerolling-grade SAE1006 HRC and equivalent products, was $925-930 per tonne on Friday, up by $2-8 per tonne from $917-928 per tonne a week earlier.
A South Korean mill that regularly sells HRC to Vietnam remained absent from the market this week. But South Korean SAE11006 HRC was heard to have been sold to Indonesia at $1,010 per tonne cfr.
Market participants indicated spot prices for Japan, Korea, Taiwan-origin material at $940 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week.
“Prices for even Japan, South Korea, Taiwan-origin HRC will remain depressed due to the presence of cheaper material from India,” a seller source in East Asia told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC (Japan, Korea, Taiwan-origin), import, cfr Vietnam was $940 per tonne cfr Vietnam on Friday, unchanged for a second week.
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