Low availability and firm HRC prevent slab prices in Asia from declining

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 17:16:31 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

While Chinese customers have been asking for lower prices for imported slabs, they have failed to find them as overall availability has been limited and the firm price trend in the HRC segment in Asia has also provided support.

Chinese traders have been targeting $460/mt CFR, which is lower by at least $5/mt from the previous deal price level. But the majority of offers have been at $470-480/mt CFR from Russian, S. Korean and Iranian suppliers. “I don't think there is surplus material around, so the closing price should be higher than $460/mt CFR,” a trader said. Another source said that there are no reasons for the decline at the moment. Lower raw material prices can exert pressure, but, while HRC prices remain strong, slab prices will also be supported.

Following a contract to Indonesia at $470/mt CFR reported a week ago, no new booking has been heard. One source in Southeast Asia said that the workable price level is still not below $470/mt CFR.

The SteelOrbis reference price for imported slabs in Asia has remained at $465-470/mt CFR, similar to last week, with the possibility of a positive correction if HRC prices keep going up. Prices for HRC in Vietnam increased by $5-10/mt on average last week to $525-530/mt CFR.

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