Southeast Asian billet offers hit $445-450/mt cfr China and SE Asia amid high imported scrap prices and resumption of trades from Chinese importers. Trade volumes, however, remained very limited as mills await clarity on end-user demand.
Chinese importers resume trades
High raw materials prices for both iron ore and ferrous scrap pushed up billet offers in South East Asia. Chinese steel importers bought around 40,000-50,000mt of billets for November shipments from Vietnam, India and Russian at around $445-450/mt cfr China, up $10-15/mt from late August.
Chinese domestic billet prices hit an eight month’s high of CNY3,460-3,480/mt ex-Tangshan this week. Mills continued to restock billets amid strong demand from construction sectors.
SE Asian buyers slow
Southeast Asian billet importers slowed trades as domestic steel demand remained weak. Thailand and Indonesian billet buyers have are resilient to the raised offers.
A few suppliers in Vietnam and Malaysia offered square billets at $455-460/mt cfr China levels for November shipments, but no trades were reported at those levels on Monday. Most SE Asian countries are struggling with weak finished steel demand.
In Taiwan, domestic billet, rebar and scrap traded flat on Monday from the prior week. Feng Hsin Steel, a leading billet and rebar supplier, held its prices unchanged with billet around NT$12,300-12,500/mt ex-works.
Iranian mills eye higher export prices
Iranian steel mills and leading exporters offered a new tender for 30,000mt billet targeting $405/mt fob Iran. On the other hand, Iranian slab was offered at $410-415/mt fob Iran, said Indian billet exporter. Iranian billet exporters remain bullish amid high iron ore and DRI prices. They anticipate global ferrous scrap supplies to remain tight as steelmakers in the US and Europe could ramp production after hiking steel prices by $20-40/gt. Higher domestic scrap consumption in supplier nations could reduce scrap exports.
Indian imported scrap at 8-month high
Indian imported scrap prices rose to an 8-months high. Shredded scrap index settled at $321/mt cfr Nhava Sheva, rising successively by a total $83/mt from early April level of $238/mt cfr Nhava Sheva. In Turkey, US-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) traded at $300/mt cfr Turkey, hitting the new yearly high of 2020.