Spot prices for imported hot-rolled coil in Vietnam were stable this week amid limited spot price negotiations for Indian HRC.
There was persistent market chatter that Russian steelmaker Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) had sold another cargo of January-shipment SAE1006 HRC to Vietnam at $850 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, after selling two or three vessels-worth of the material last week.
“Demand in MMK’s traditional markets must be very [poor] for it to keep sending cargoes to Vietnam,” a trader source in Vietnam told Fastmarkets on Friday October 1.
There was also market chatter that a major Indian steel mill had sold cargoes at $870-880 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, although a seller source close to the steel mill involved denied this.
“Buying interest from Vietnam is low this week. There is also no hurry for the steel mill to offload materials,” the seller source said on Friday.
And a Vietnamese trader said there were no bids, even at $870-880 per tonne cfr Vietnam, for Indian HRC, so it was unlikely that such a transaction had taken place.
But traders were offering Indian HRC at $870-880 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week – although sources said these offers were made in a bid to elicit buying interest and would not necessarily mean that there could be transactions at this level.
“Even though there is a lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns in some parts of southern Vietnam, demand is still weak because there is no clarity on how demand will improve,” a second Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on October 1.
A buyer source at a major galvanizer said the company had received an offer at $885 per tonne cfr Vietnam for Indian HRC, subject to sellers’ option.
Another major Indian steel mill was sounding out buyers with offers for SS400-grade HRC at $860 per tonne cfr Vietnam. There was no confirmation that it had managed to sell any material, however.
Sources said that Indian domestic demand was picking up, with a round of spot price increases for HRC in the country.
“Demand is better after the monsoon season, with some purchasing to feed Diwali demand,” the seller source in India told Fastmarkets on Friday.
Russian steelmaker NLMK was also said to be in the Vietnamese spot market, offering material at $860 per tonne cfr Vietnam, with market chatter suggesting that it had sold some quantities this week – although this could not be confirmed by anyone in Vietnam.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-rolled coil import, cfr Vietnam, which mainly looks at 2-3mm rerolling-grade SAE1006 HRC and equivalent products, was $880-890 per tonne cfr Vietnam, unchanged from last Friday.
A major South Korean producer was offering SAE1006/SPHC-grade HRC at $1,010 cfr Vietnam, at $1,020 cfr Malaysia and Thailand, and at $1,030 per tonne cfr Indonesia.
And a major Japanese producer said it could not confirm whether it had concluded any new transactions after offering November-shipment cargoes at $1,000 per tonne cfr southeast Asia last week.
It was said to be offering HRC at $970 per tonne cfr Indonesia, but the steelmaker did not confirm this directly.
A major Taiwanese steelmaker and a major Japanese steelmaker, meanwhile, were heard offering HRC at $985 per tonne cfr South Korea in the past week.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-rolled coil (Japan, Korea, Taiwan-origin), import, cfr Vietnam was unchanged at $940 per tonne cfr Vietnam on Friday.
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