Prices for export billet from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) decreased on Tuesday September 28 after lower offers were heard in the market.
Mills reduced asking prices from $610-620 per tonne to $600-610 per tonne fob week on week after the Chinese market, which was expected to support suppliers, started to weaken.
Chinese demand for steel billet imports has fallen recently amid mounting concerns over China’s property market and the potential for power shortages across the country.
China started introducing power-consumption limits in some provinces in July 2021 due to power shortages. The curbs have recently been extended into a larger area of the country – including Jiangsu, Shandong and Guangxi – in line with the country’s carbon-reduction efforts.
“Power cuts are limiting the capacity of re-rolling mills, therefore bids for import billet are softening,” a Ukraine based billet producer told Fastmarkets.
A European trading source, however, said that power cuts are also affecting Chinese mills’ steel output, therefore demand for import billet remains in place.
Considering the negative sentiment in the market, fresh deals for import billet to China were heard at lower levels compared to last week, sources said.
A 20,000-30,000 tonne Russia-origin cargo, to be shipped from the Far East ports of the country, was reported sold to China at $705 per tonne cfr. This is compared with a booking of Indonesia-origin billet last week at $710 per tonne cfr.
Current bids for import billets are said to be at $700 per tonne cfr China, equivalent to $600 per tonne fob for cargoes originating from the Black Sea basin.
A Ukraine-based producer, offering material within the range of $600-605 per tonne fob Black Sea, is interested in sales to Asia, considering comparatively low bids coming from nearer markets.
North African customers are ready to pay $580-590 per tonne fob Black Sea now, the source said.
“We did not collect any fresh bids from Turkey as they [customers] have been targeting inadequate levels lately,” the source added.
A Turkish source said current bids for import billet in the country were varying in the range of $590-600 per tonne cfr, or $555-560 per tonne fob Black Sea, depending on the port of destination.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS, dropped by $5 per tonne day on day, to $595 per tonne on September 28.
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