Slab prices in Asia gain strength after rapid HRC price hike in China

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 15:32:31 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul
       

The price for imported slabs in Asia has increased visibly over the past week owing to firm demand and the rapid hike in HRC prices in the region, following sharp gains in China. Most slab suppliers are bullish in Asia, expecting a further increase in prices.

Demand for slabs has been seen from Indonesia, where a consignment of Indian slabs has been booked at around $470-475/mt CFR, sources have said, with this price level being in line with the general price level last week. The bids were initially at $465/mt CFR and the buyer insisted on this level, but, according to the seller, the final price was higher.

Last week, China was also in active negotiations at $475/mt CFR, according to sources. And “it was hard to find slabs at this price,” a trader said, adding that suppliers have been willing to increase prices further, expecting a further hike in the HRC market.

This expectation materialized on Monday, November 9, when all major Chinese producers sharply increased their local and export prices for HRC, following gains in the futures market. The HRC export price increase in China has totalled $27.5/mt on average over the past week.

As a result, prices for imported slabs have also increased again. At the moment, the tradable level is $485/mt CFR China with the appreciation of the Chinese currency also making imports more attractive. New offers for Southeast Asian slabs are expected to be announced at $490-500/mt CFR, sources believe.

The SteelOrbis reference price for imported slabs in Asia has reached $475-485/mt CFR, up by $5-10/mt over the past week. 


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