Ex-CIS billet trade to revive after holidays

Thursday, 15 August 2019 16:12:16 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Ex-CIS billet prices have officially been kept unchanged by mills for shipments from Black/Azov Sea ports amid the lack of activity due to the Feast of Sacrifice holiday. However, buyers expect the offers to be under more pressure next week, owing to weaker scrap tags in Turkey. In the meantime, in Asia some decent volumes have been traded with only a slight decline in contract prices.

Key CIS billet exporters have preferred to maintain the offer levels of last week as most of their buyers have been out of the market for the Feast of Sacrifice holiday. The CIS-based mills have been aiming to avoid selling far below $410/mt FOB Black Sea, while the latest buyers’ price idea did not exceed $400-405/mt FOB, as SteelOrbis reported earlier. In the meantime, some traders are reportedly offering close to $405/mt FOB. Ex-Rostov billet cargoes, according to the market sources, are on offer at $395/mt FOB.

Turkey, being one of the least paying import billet markets these days, is expected to push for even lower offers from the CIS, taking into account the recent decline in scrap prices. “The market is not open yet, while we will have a better idea after the holidays,” a trader said. Therefore, the new bids might be below the earlier voiced $415/mt CFR level. In Egypt, market players await some clarity on the billet safeguard situation after another court session due on August 17. Before the holidays, some bids were reported at as low as $425-430/mt CFR. In Algeria, traders were offering $405-410/mt FOB, but buyers have been taking their time to purchase, aiming for lower prices.

In the meantime, a Russian mill closed deals for 60,000-70,000 mt of billet to Southeast Asia at $445/mt CFR on average, which corresponds to slightly below $430/mt FOB Far Eastern ports. The equivalent for Black Sea prices is estimated at $400-405/mt FOB, SteelOrbis understands.

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