Spot prices for imported hot-rolled coil in Vietnam were unchanged in the week to Friday August 6 amid persistent poor demand for imported Indian and Chinese material.
Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (MMK) continued to sell material into Vietnam, however.
Early-November-shipment pipe-making grade material from the mill was sold at $905 per tonne cfr Vietnam by East Asian traders, compared with offers at $910 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week. More than 30,000 tonnes of material, including that of 2mm thickness, were sold.
There are still ongoing negotiations, with sellers looking to sell at $900 per tonne cfr Vietnam also.
The transactions and ongoing negotiations have negated any chance of other steelmakers selling SAE1006 HRC into Vietnam.
Major blast furnace-based Indian steelmakers offered cargoes of SAE1006 HRC at $930 per tonne cfr Vietnam, down by $10 per tonne from last Friday. The drop was due to the bearish influence caused by the price falls in China, as well as 62% Fe iron ore prices falling to $171 per tonne cfr China.
There was market chatter of Indian HRC sold within the $920-930 per tonne cfr Vietnam range, although this could not be confirmed or verified by contractual counterparties.
“It is unlikely that anyone will purchase at these levels with Russian cargoes sold this week,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on Friday.
Vietnamese traders said October-shipment material from MMK was already sold out since last week.
In the SS400 HRC market, a 20,000-tonne cargo from India was sold at $900-908 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, an industry source in Vietnam told Fastmarkets.
Buyers were hesitant to purchase new SS400 or SAE1006 HRC from China due to uncertainty over potential HRC export taxes which could be imposed in mid-August.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks about a looming export tax in China for HRC of up to 15-25% which could be announced in mid-August, although there has not been any official confirmation. Others suggested a mid-to-late September date.
Key market participants estimated that prices for SAE1006 were unchanged amid limited spot activity.
“There is no way Indian mills will sell below $920 per tonne cfr Vietnam,” another Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr Vietnam, which mainly looks at 2-3mm rerolling-grade SAE1006 HRC and equivalent products, was $920-925 per tonne on Friday, stable from a week earlier.
A South Korean mill continued to offer cargoes to Vietnam at $1,050 per tonne cfr Vietnam, to Indonesia at $1,060 per tonne cfr and to Thailand at $1,050 per tonne cfr.
A major Japanese steel mill did not offer any material to Southeast Asia due to the worsening Covid-19 situation dampening demand, a source close to the steel mill said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC (Japan, Korea, Taiwan-origin), import, cfr Vietnam was $950 per tonne cfr Vietnam on Friday, unchanged from a week earlier.
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