Slab prices in Asia under pressure due to cheap import HRC, weak demand

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 14:00:00 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Demand for slab in Asia has been subdued in September as regional customers have faced lower local sales of flat steel and higher inflow of cheaper import HRC. The prices for slabs in Asia have lost $5-10/mt since late August and have come to $410-420/mt CFR. There has been a rumor about a deal for Brazilian slabs at $410/mt CFR Taiwan last week, but both sides denied that it has been done, SteelOrbis was informed. “This level is too high for us if you will just have a look on import HRC prices at $450-460/mt CFR,” a Taiwanese customer told SteelOrbis. About 50,000 mt of Indian HRC have been sold to Taiwan in early September at $460/mt CFR and negotiations have been heard at $452/mt CFR this week.

Offers for Russian slabs have been still coming at $420/mt CFR Asia, unchanged over the week, but bids from customers have been released at not higher than $400/mt CFR.

Taiwanese re-rollers have been still working at 50 percent of full capacity and will not increase it in October. Indonesian customers have also utilization rates of 40 percent and lower.

There has been also information in the market that about 50,000 mt of Iranian slabs has been sold to Asia at $400-405/mt CFR in September and though a few sources have confirmed this deal, the price have been assessed by most market sources as “very high”. “There are very few customers for Iranian slabs in Asia,” a regional trader told SteelOrbis.

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