US import OCTG prices hitting bottom
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In the last week, import J55 electric resistance welded (ERW) oil country tubular goods (OCTG) casing offer prices to the US from multiple sources fell once again. Korean and Taiwanese prices have dropped about $1.50 cwt. ($33/mt or $30/nt) to $50.00-$51.00 cwt. ($1,102-$1,124/mt or $1,000-$1,020/nt) DDP loaded truck in US Gulf ports. Turkish offer prices to the US are within a similar range, while Vietnamese prices are, as usual, about $1.00 cwt. below Korean prices, which, sources tell SteelOrbis, is a trend Vietnamese mills will continue to follow in an attempt to lure loyal Korean OCTG customers in the US to look elsewhere.
Import booking activity has been largely quiet in the US since October as buyers were waiting for import prices to hit bottom before committing to any offshore tonnage. However, with recent price increases in the US domestic market, import prices in the US are likely to rise soon as well. For now, US domestic J55 ERW OCTG casing spot prices are still $65.00-$66.00 cwt. ($1,433-$1,455/mt or $1,300-$1,320/nt) ex-mill, as they were a week ago, but for large drilling projects, deals continue to be heard as much as $5.00 cwt. ($110/mt or $100/nt) under the range. Overall, however, US domestic demand for OCTG is steady, and likely to rise along with prices early next year.