Overseas buyers’ demand for Turkish rebar remains weak
Turkish rebar export offers have remained stable for the second consecutive week at $435-480/mt FOB. Having focused on their domestic market for some time now, Turkish rebar producers are still not taking an active role in the export markets, prioritizing their domestic sales. Turkish steel mills’ are giving rebar export offers at $435-440/mt in response to the price inquiries they are receiving from the markets where they usually sell small tonnages of rebar, while it is heard that, for actual deals, they are willing to reduce their rebar export prices to $430/mt FOB on actual weight basis.
The Section 232 investigation in the US is expected to be completed by the end of June, while market sources state that both US-based buyers and Turkish sellers are currently unwilling to trade steel due to the uncertainties regarding the result of the Section 232 probe. Meanwhile, Turkish steel mills are only responding to inquiries made by US buyers, with prices in the range of $500-510/mt CFR on theoretical weight basis, and are anxious to ensure that any potential costs of the Section 232 investigation will be carried by US buyers.
In the current week, Egypt issued temporary antidumping (AD) duties for rebar imports from Turkey within the scope of the AD investigation opened at the end of December. Accordingly, Egypt will impose AD duties on rebar imports from Turkey, for a period of four months, ranging between 10 percent and 19 percent. With the addition of these AD margins to their current prices, Turkish mills’ rebar offers to Egypt have become very high for buyers, and so Egyptian buyers’ demand for Turkish rebar has come to a halt.
This week, there has still not been any new Turkish rebar offer heard in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The steel industry in the UAE has been affected by the decision of the UAE, together with six other countries, to put an embargo on Qatar. Having regularly concluded rebar purchases from Qatar, it is now not clear if UAE-based buyers will be able to receive previously booked rebar from Qatar. Although trading activity in the UAE has slowed down due to Ramadan, buyers have once again increased their rebar purchases in expectation of tighter rebar supply due to the embargo. As a result, demand for rebar in the UAE has revived slightly, though rebar quotations of both traders and producers have indicated higher-than-expected increases.
Market sources report that Turkish rebar mills are still focusing on their domestic market, while they are continuing to stand back and monitor the export markets. It is thought that buyers may increase their purchases of Turkish rebar if a lack of rebar supply surfaces in the Gulf region. In this case, having experienced problems for a long time in export markets such as the US and Egypt, Turkish steelmakers’ rebar sales to the Gulf region may increase slightly. However, it is also believed to be too early to assess the effect on the Turkish steel industry of the Qatar embargo as political developments in the region are moving rapidly.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on June 9, 2017.