Buyers of ex-CIS billet adopt wait-and-see stance

Thursday, 25 July 2019 15:43:36 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

CIS-based producers’ billet offers to the international markets have moved sideways during the past week at $425-430/mt FOB. Meanwhile, market sources report that traders’ offers for large volumes of Ukrainian billet are still at $410-420/mt FOB Turkey. However, international buyers have adopted a wait-and-see stance given their reluctance to accept these offers and are exerting pressure for further price decreases.

In the meantime, CIS-based billet suppliers are still focusing on the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and Far East markets.  Market rumors indicate that ex-CIS billet has been sold to Egypt, in two cargoes at $414/mt FOB Black Sea and $418/mt FOB Black sea, for August and September shipment, without any tonnage details. Additionally, an ex-CIS billet sale to the Philippines has been concluded in the current week, and this has been interpreted as a signal that Far Eastern buyers are still active in terms of import billet purchases.

Moreover, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to be a new trading target of CIS-based steel suppliers, since it is a 55-nation trade bloc uniting 1.3 billion people with a $ 3.4 trillion trading volume and is also the largest trade bloc to be created since the World Trade Organization which was founded in 1995.  

Additionally, Ukraine-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih is expected to incur a loss of $ 1 million in July due to the Security Service of Ukraine’s security investigation, performed on the company’s continuous casting machine No. 3 in Dnipropetrovsk region on July 20, with operation of equipment being halted due to excess radiation. ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih said that it will not be able to conclude contracts for the supply of billets to clients due to the investigation.

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