Turkish rebar export activity gains momentum
Trading activity for Turkish rebar in the international markets, which had been weak for a while, has gained some momentum in the current week and exerted a positive influence on the Turkish rebar market. Meanwhile, Turkish rebar offers to the international markets have remained stable week on week at $570-580/mt FOB on actual weight basis.
Due to the Section 232 probe, demand for Turkish rebar in the US was at low levels for a long time. However, following the rises seen in US-based producers’ prices in the current week, domestic rebar quotations in the US have reached $799-821/mt ex-works. Amid the sharp increases recorded in their local market, US rebar buyers have bought approximately 100,000 mt of rebar from Turkish steel mills this week due to the more attractive prices in question. This tonnage has been sold by three different Turkish steelmakers to the US with export prices at $635-640/mt CFR on theoretical weight basis, including antidumping duties.
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has finally submitted the results of its Section 232 investigation to President Trump. Although the DOC has declined to reveal the details of its recommendations for the time being, by law President Trump has 90 days from the date of the submission of results to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation.
Apart from the Turkish rebar exports made to the US, Turkish steel mills have concluded sales of small rebar tonnages to Africa, Yemen and Israel at $570-580/mt FOB on actual weight basis.
On the other hand, it is observed that Turkish steel producers are experiencing difficulties in finding their desired price levels for raw materials. On the one hand, Turkish steelmakers are trying to push down import scrap quotations below the current offer price levels as there are several scrap suppliers ready to conclude sales to Turkey, while, on the other hand, they are forced to accept higher electrode prices due to tight electrode supply and are also forced to purchase scrap of higher quality. Meanwhile, the significant gap between billet and scrap prices has been maintained due to the problems experienced in procuring raw materials. Turkish steel mills are expected to accept the rises seen in their production costs in order to avoid any potential cuts in their production. Accordingly, it is expected to be difficult for Turkish mills to make significant reductions in their rebar export prices in the short term.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on January 12, 2018.