Higher import slab prices accepted in Asia, outlook still positive

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 15:44:34 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Over the past week, higher asking prices for import slabs have been accepted in the Asian market. Though HRC prices in China have posted sharp drops since late last week, the outlook in the slab segment has not changed to negative so far.

A contact for a sizable lot of ex-Russia slabs was signed at $950/mt CFR to China last week. This level was the target of the major suppliers, as SteelOrbis reported earlier. Rising flat steel product prices in China and good demand have led to a resumption of slabs imports in China.

Customers in the rest of Asia have been mainly reluctant to purchase, but, according to a number of sources, with the latest HRC price increase, they will be able to pay above $900/mt CFR.

Nevertheless, since last Friday local HRC prices in China have posted sharp drops - by more than $90/mt on average. This has somewhat hit market players’ sentiment in Asia. But most slab exporters are going to keep prices at not below $950/mt CFR for the near future, sources have said, as overall allocation is not high in the market and time is needed to see the future trend in the flat steel segment.

The SteelOrbis weekly price for import slabs in Asia has been increased from $920-950/mt CFR to $950/mt CFR.

The reference price for import HRC in Vietnam declined by $20/mt to $1,030-1,040/mt CFR yesterday. But today the information has emerged that a position cargo from China has been sold at $1,010-1,015/mt CFR, reflecting the lowest price in the market. Other suppliers are still insisting on above $1,050/mt CFR.

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