The export market for CIS billet has remained quiet this week with most producers still out of the market for holidays, although sentiment remained upbeat, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday January 5.
Most CIS mills were out of the market for new year and Christmas holidays and were expected to come back next week, sources said.
Christmas holidays ***
There are public holidays in Russia from January 1 to January 11. In Ukraine, December 25, December 31, January 1 and January 7 are official holidays.
The latest offers of billet from major Russian and Ukrainian producers were reported no lower than $620 per tonne fob before the holidays.
One Russian steelmaker was said to be targeting $670 per tonne fob, but buyers were not taking this too seriously, several sources said.
A mill in Ukraine said that a price of $620 per tonne fob was “an old story” and new prices for March-shipment billet were expected to be higher.
“We have sold out February shipment [material] already, and only have limited volumes scheduled for March shipment,” a mill source said. “We are staying out of the market this week, and will come back after the Christmas holidays.”
Some other producers were reported to have small volumes of February-shipment billet remaining, however, sources said.
“It seems that producers just sit on volumes, waiting for prices to go higher,” a trading source said.
CIS billet , Russia ***
A 20,000-tonne cargo of Russia-origin billet was offered to the Turkish market through a trader this week, with the seller reported to be “collecting bids,” several sources said. But trading activity was largely quiet, with most buyers taking a wait-and-see stance.
“Everyone’s waiting for new [steel] scrap deals to [get an indication of] the trend this year. Scrap is the key,” a second trader said.
The Turkish deep-sea scrap markets were silent at the beginning of this week due to the new year holidays.
Index for steel scrap ***
Fastmarkets’ daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey, was $464.17 per tonne on January 5, unchanged since December 24.
CIS billet index ***
As a result, Fastmarkets’ daily steel billet index, export, fob Black Sea, CIS, was $605 per tonne on Tuesday, up just by $1 per tonne day on day. The index was also up by $1 per tonne week on week but was up by $108 per tonne month on month.
Reference: metal bulletin
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