Ex-CIS billet prices remain under downward pressure
During the past week, ex-CIS billet export prices have moved sideways in the range of $380-390/mt FOB. On the other hand, due to the sharp declines recorded in Chinese billet export offers over the past week, buyers in the international markets have maintained a cautious stance as regards concluding new deals, causing ex-CIS billet quotations to remain under downward pressure.
In the current week, CIS-based suppliers’ billet offers to Turkey have remained unchanged at $400-410/mt CFR. Since demand for Turkish finished steel in the export markets has remained weak, Turkish mills are not interested in purchasing import billet within the scope of Turkey’s inward processing regime (under this scheme mills have to give a commitment to export the finished products they produce from imported billet), while liquid steel producers prefer to purchase import scrap due to its more attractive cost. On the other hand, it is also known that Turkish steel mills’ demand for import scrap is at low levels due to the weakness of steel demand in both domestic and export markets. Demand for ex-CIS billet in Turkey has failed to improve over the past week and remains weak. Ex-CIS billet quotations have for a long time been considered to be on the high side with Turkish buyers mostly meeting their needs from their domestic market, while demand for ex-CIS billet in Turkey has also remained weak due to Turkish producers’ decision to purchase import scrap instead of billet.
Meanwhile, demand for ex-CIS billet in Egypt has revived slightly, though it is still at low levels, due to accelerated construction activities amid improved seasonal conditions. CIS-based suppliers have kept their billet offers for Egypt stable week on week at $400-405/mt CFR, while market sources report that new deals in this price range have been concluded from the CIS region to Egypt in the last seven days.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on April 20, 2017.