Ex-CIS billet prices continue to rise
During the past week, ex-CIS billet prices in the international markets have increased by $5/mt to $425-435$/mt FOB. The upward movement of global scrap and Chinese billet export quotations as well as Egyptian buyers’ interest in ex-CIS billet have contributed to CIS-based suppliers’ decision to increase their billet export prices further.
On the other hand, Iranian billet suppliers have concluded export sales for large tonnages over the past week at $400-415/mt FOB by ensuring a price advantage for international buyers. This development has caused CIS-based suppliers to slow down their price increases. Despite the slowdown, ex-CIS billet prices have continued their upward movement and this trend is not expected to come to an end in the short term.
CIS-based suppliers’ billet offers to Turkey have increased by $5/mt week on week and are now mostly at $440-445/mt CFR. Turkish liquid steel producers are continuing their purchases of import scrap since billet is still less attractive in terms of costs. Meanwhile, Turkish rolling mills, which usually 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), are meeting their billet needs from their domestic market instead of importing billet as they have been receiving weak finished steel demand from their export markets for a while now. SteelOrbis has been informed that Turkish steel mills’ highest firm bids for ex-CIS billet are currently at $425/mt CFR.
Having played an important role in the upward movement of ex-CIS billet quotations, Egyptian demand for ex-CIS billet continues to be observed. Over the past week, ex-CIS billet offers to Egypt have increased by $10/mt and are currently at $440-450/mt CFR. Also, market sources report that the upper end of this price range ($450/mt) has not yet gained acceptance from Egyptian buyers, though transactions at $440/mt CFR have been concluded over the past week.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on July 20, 2017.