Slab prices in Asia retreat, buyers to be cautious as HRC falls rapidly

Monday, 24 May 2021 16:18:28 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Sentiment in the Asian slab market has worsened further over the past week and the latest deals have been reported at lower price levels. Most market sources have taken a wait-and-see position as they are watching developments in the HRC segment, which has shown sharp declines recently.

The SteelOrbis reference price has been lowered by $20/mt over the past week to $930/mt CFR.

At least one deal for 30,000 mt of ex-Russia slabs has been confirmed to Indonesia at $930/mt CFR for August shipment. Meanwhile, some sources have said that there have been two bookings to this country, which, however, has not been confirmed so far.

Another contract has been heard to South Korea at $945/mt CFR. This price level has been evaluated by market sources as “high in the current market.”

One of the large traders said that most major buyers will take a pause from slab purchases as “HRC prices are crashing and need to find a bottom.”

The tradable price level of import slabs to China has fallen sharply due to sharp declines in the local flat steel segment. The latest tender for 30,000 mt of ex-Iran steel slab was closed at $780/mt FOB BIK Port last week, which translates to about $820-825/mt CFR, adding freight costs.

Following today’s decline in futures prices, prices for ex-China HRC have fallen further. A deal for a position cargo of ex-China SAE1006 is confirmed as have been done at $980/mt CFR last week. But today negotiations have already been held at $960/mt CFR for Chinese re-rolling material.

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