Imported Asian HRC prices in key market Vietnam surged to a two-and-a-half year high on continued bullish demand, sources told Fastmarkets in the week ended Friday December 4.
*** Asian HRC , Vietnamese steelmakers
Vietnamese steelmakers booked at least two import cargoes from major Chinese tier 1 steel mills, including two based in Rizhao and Shanghai. The first cargo, which consisted of 10,000 tonnes of HRC, was sold at $625 per tonne cfr Vietnam, while the second cargo was sold at $627 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
“Chinese HRC remains the key source of supply. Buyers aren’t considering other origins such as India due to the high offers,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on Friday.
Offers from Chinese steelmakers were at $635-645 per tonne cfr Vietnam, increasing gradually throughout last week. Indian steelmakers were indicating offers of around $700 per tonne cfr Vietnam on account of their rebounding domestic markets.
“Those offers are unlikely to be accepted, so India-origin cargoes are out of the question for buyers at the moment,” a flat steel trader in Singapore told Fastmarkets.
*** Asian HRC , Indian hot rolled coil
Indian hot rolled coil export prices surged by $105 per tonne last week due to bookings from Europe, which is facing tight supply due to shortages of Turkish and South Korean material.
Bullish demand from overseas buyers for galvanized coil remained strong, Vietnamese sources said.
“Galvanizers are seeing good order books for February-shipment cargoes, but they are short of HRC substrate so they have to keep looking for imported cargoes,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets.
Vietnamese galvanizers withheld offers for 1mm HDG with 80g zinc coating last week due to a lack of material for export. They are also expecting prices to increase further in the near-term. They had last offered HDG exports at $740-750 per tonne cfr Southeast Asia, or $720-730 per tonne fob about two weeks ago.
*** Imported HRC
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment of steel HRC import, cfr Vietnam, which mainly looks at 2-3mm rerolling grade SAE1006 HRC and equivalent products, was $625-627 per tonne on Friday, up by $17-25 per tonne from $600-610 per tonne a week earlier. This is their highest level since March 2018.
East Asian HRC producers have continued increasing their offers in the past week due to the bullish demand.
Steelmakers in South Korea had initially listed offers of $620 per tonne fob last Tuesday, but later withdrew them due to expectations of increasing prices. They are expected to list higher prices this week.
A major Japanese steelmaker increased its offer to $650 per tonne cfr Vietnam last week.
“Two major Japanese steelmakers had just restarted their blast furnaces, so they do not have sufficient quantities for export, so supply remains tight,” an industry source in Japan told Fastmarkets recently.
*** Taiwanese steelmakers
Taiwanese steelmakers increased their offers to $645-650 per tonne fob. This is equivalent to around $660-665 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
“This is an extremely high price, so it seems like steelmakers are extremely bullish,” an industry source in Taiwan told Fastmarkets on Friday.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of steel HRC (Japan, Korea, Taiwan-origin), import, cfr Vietnam was also at $640-650 per tonne the same day, compared with $615-620 per tonne previously, commanding a premium of $15-23 per tonne over China-origin material.
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