The slump in steel futures in China has cooled the billet import market. Procurement importers in Southeast Asia are taking a wait-and-see attitude and awaiting clarity after the downturn in the Chinese market.
Chinese import prices rose to record highs a week after the Chinese Labor Day holiday. At the beginning of the week of May 14, it was heard that billets from ASEAN countries were offered at a price of $ 800-810 /t cfr in China. Many regional traders have heard that ASEAN billet has been booked at peak prices of around $ 790 per tonne in China. Some have heard that some exporters were able to sell at $ 800 /t cfr. However, Chinese trade sources have heard lower levels. “Nobody has booked shares at $ 800 per tonne CFR,” says a Chinese trader. But he suggests that prices will stabilize in the coming week. “Offers are still high, with some even exceeding $ 805 per tonne CFR. But rates fell to below $ 770 per tonne cfr, ”the trader said on May 14. Another Chinese trader announced an offer to buy Japanese EAF billet on May 13 at a price of $ 760 per ton from China.
In the Philippines, suppliers have yet to cut offers. Bids for Vietnamese induction furnaces and chipboard billets are around $ 780 per tonne in Manila, and Indian induction furnace billets are $ 750-755 per tonne per tonne. The billet cost for India’s blast furnaces is projected at US $ 800 per tonne in Manila.
The direction of the billet import market has not yet been determined. According to a Manila-based trader, suppliers say the downward correction in China is “just a temporary setback due to (Chinese) Prime Minister Li’s comments about high commodity prices and that they expect the market to return soon. back to normal. ” He received an offer to supply Japanese EAF billets at $ 760 per tonne in Manila, which he heard was finally sold for about $ 770 per tonne in Taiwan. It was then that the market peaked on May 12th. “People will probably not bid any prices right now as long as the futures market in China appears to be in free fall,” he adds.
The Filipino importer, who has also heard of offers rejected by sellers seeking to raise prices, is unaware of recent deals. On May 14, Kallanish priced a 5 shp /ps or Q275 120/125/130 mm square billet at $ 730-735 per tonne in Manila, up $ 25 per week.
Meanwhile, China’s domestic billet market fell 150 yuan per tonne per day to 5,670 yuan per tonne ($ 881 per tonne) in Tangshan. This is the same level as May 11th.