China’s import billet market opens at higher prices after holiday

Friday, 08 October 2021 15:31:36 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

On October 8, China’s import billet market resumed work after the long holiday at much higher levels in line with expectations, amid increases in domestic prices, higher futures prices, and the positive outlook for demand.

An offer for 20,000 mt of billet from the main Vietnamese supplier has been at $695/mt FOB, translating to about $730/mt CFR China. “Hoa Phat is not in a hurry to sell because rebar output is very good at the moment,” a local Vietnamese source said.

A similar offer at around $730-735/mt CFR has been available from Indonesia. “There are plenty of offers, but no deals so far,” a trader said, adding that transactions will start to come in light next week, certainly at increased levels. The tradable level for import billet to China has gone up to $720-725/mt CFR for now, according to market sources, rising by up to $20/mt compared to deals before the holiday.

Offers for IF billet from Vietnam have added $5-10/mt to $715/mt CFR, while the price available for Indian IF billet is around $715-720/mt CFR.

Local billet prices in Tangshan have posted a sizable rise of RMB 100/mt ($15.5/mt) compared to September 30, increasing to RMB 5,310/mt ($823/mt) ex-works. This level translates to $729/mt, excluding 13 percent VAT. “Restocking after the holidays is pushing up demand [for both rebar and billet],” a source said.

Some restrictions for re-rollers in China, implemented in late September due to the energy shortage, have been lifted in early October, which has supported the outlook for import billet demand for the near future. However, since the energy crisis is far from being resolved, market participants are waiting for new announcements from the local authorities. 

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