Export prices for slabs from the CIS countries remained stable for three weeks in a row after proposals were presented to buyers from Turkey at a price of 450 USD per tonne francs. During these three weeks the market was calm, with the exception of sales of Russian slabs to China, but this week there was a movement close to the supply level.
One Russian supplier sold one October lot to North America for a netback price of about $ 432 per tonne in the Black Sea. The sale completed the October supplier program. Demand in North America remains, and sources do not exclude an increase in sales there by other suppliers from the CIS.
Offers for September cast slabs to Turkey were presented by a Ukrainian supplier at $ 450 /t cfr three weeks ago, but this week the price of just under $ 450 /t cfr was sold on October foundry books. The rise in scrap prices forced Turkish buyers to place an order and a contract for the supply of up to 50,000 tons. Again, market observers expect new sales to Turkey to start next week, but suggest prices could be higher starting at $ 450 per tonne francs.
Negotiations are also underway with Italian retrollers. Prices are expected to be at least $ 450 per tonne francs, although some sources suggest that buyers will have to pay more to cover higher freight rates compared to Turkey and America amid rising European HRC prices.
China has booked several Russian lots over the past two weeks at around $ 440-445 per tonne shipped from Russian Far East ports, cast in October. Demand in China for imports of slabs is not strong this week as prices for HRC in the country decline and exports resume due to the formation of a new arbitration. Several traders have noted the resumption of exports of the Chinese HRC to the US.
Overall, expectations for the CIS slab export market remain strong, especially as flat steel markets in Europe and the US continue to show green sprouts of recovery. The relatively limited supply is supporting prices, along with solid iron ore and rising flat steel prices in major countries. However, Southeast Asia is still out of the market.