CIS billet exporters keep focus on Asia, which holds prices around $600/mt FOB

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 17:41:05 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

CIS-based billet exporters have still been focusing sales to the Asian market, where bids have still been at relatively high levels, even after some softening. Some exporters have decided to leave the market rather than sell at lower levels now.

One major Ukrainian producer sold a cargo of 40,000 mt of billet to China at $705/mt CFR last week, which corresponds to around $605/mt FOB, taking into account the current freight. The new targeted level is $600-605/mt FOB as the exporter still has some volumes to sell and sentiment in China has weakened this week.

A cargo from Ukraine was on offer to Indonesia at $705/mt CFR as well last week, but the signing of the contract has not been confirmed and the major buyer was targeting slightly below $700/mt CFR.

Though the freight rates in the Asian region have shown some slight decline this week, there has been no change in the expense for transportation from the Black Sea to China so far. Accordingly, the CIS sellers from the Black Sea region have been in a worse position in comparison to others. For instance, the freight from India has fallen from $80/mt to $70/mt recently.

A lot of 20,000 mt of billet from Russia’s Far East region was traded at $705/mt CFR to China early this week.

The mood in China’s import billet market has not been as good as earlier due to the energy consumption cuts in the country. “China may stop such active bookings by the end of the year if the energy restrictions continue,” a trader said.

However, the Asian market has remained almost the only option for CIS-based billet exporters. The tradable level in North Africa is still hardly above $590-595/mt FOB, while no sizable enquiries have been heard during the past week. In Turkey, bids are at least $5-10/mt lower.

The SteelOrbis reference price for ex-CIS billet has been unchanged from late last week at $595-600/mt FOB.

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