Asian buyers demand lower prices for import slabs

Monday, 07 June 2021 15:49:23 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Demand for import slabs has remained weak over the past week in the Asian region even though HRC prices have shown some gradual increase. Buyers have been asking for discounts and several sellers have been providing prices at below the $900/mt CFR mark.

In late May, a deal for ex-Malaysia slabs was done at $885/mt CFR to Taiwan, down from the previous level seen in the market at $930/mt CFR. Market sources said that a number of customers have been insisting on below $900/mt CFR. However, only a few suppliers have been ready to cut prices at the moment.

One lot of Indian slabs has been rumoured as being available at $880/mt CFR to Southeast Asia, but no deal has been reported at this level.

An Iranian producer sold 40,000 mt of slabs in a tender late last week at $748/mt FOB BIK for July shipment. The targeted sales destination is Southeast Asia and with the freight at around $55-60/mt the CFR price level is estimated at $803-808/mt, excluding any additional expenses of the trader.

Nevertheless, Russian and South Korean suppliers have not been ready to cut prices for slabs to Asia and they are going to target not below $920-930/mt CFR.

The SteelOrbis reference price for import slabs in Asia has been reduced to $885-925/mt CFR with the midpoint at $905/mt CFR, down by $25/mt over the past week.

Following increases last week, domestic prices for HRC in China have posted a decline of RMB 70/mt ($11/mt) on Monday compared to last Friday, to RMB 5450-5520/mt ($852-863/mt) ex-warehouse. The trend in the HRC segment in Southeast Asia has yet to be settled.

$1 = RMB 6.3963

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