Rebar price increases in Oman difficult due to weak demand

Friday, 30 April 2021 18:04:56 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul
       

Curbs on construction activities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region due to the ongoing month of Ramadan have continued to affect rebar buying activity in all related countries. “Unfortunately, there is still no boost. Ramadan has slowed down trading even more,” a UAE-based source commented with regard to the current situation. According to some sources, it is not excluded that rebar consumption in the UAE will decline to 145,000-150,000 mt levels, as SteelOrbis reported earlier. “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Omani market could be described as being almost 80 percent attributable to dealers and just 20 percent attributable to new projects. Low oil prices have frozen so many projects,” another source based in Oman echoed. Moreover, the situation is reported to be compounded by the occasional reintroduction of lockdown measures.  

Consequently, despite the fact that regional suppliers have maintained their attempts to increase rebar prices on the heels of the uptrend in the global steel market, in most cases they have still failed to achieve their desired prices. In particular, producers in Oman have increased their rebar prices to $648/mt (OMR 250/mt) ex-works and above lately, versus offers at $635-648/mt (OMR 245-250/mt) ex-works a week ago. Meanwhile, domestic rebar from dealers is currently available at $668-679/mt (OMR 258-262/mt) ex-warehouse, compared to $660-673/mt (OMR 255-260/mt) ex-warehouse last week. According to sources, the recent price increase has been gradually accepted by customers in both segments, though the recent introduction of five percent VAT by the Omani government with effect from April 2021, in addition to all demand-related issues, has caused “almost a total standstill in the end-user segment.”

In the export market, the situation is hardly better. Although Omani suppliers have been officially targeting to $650-668/mt (AED 2,385- 2,450/mt) CPT Dubai for 90-day LC payment, bids have been voiced not higher than $633/mt (AED 2,325/mt) CPT Dubai, according to sources. “Taking into account the price for ESI’s material including MoU discounts and prices for non-ESI rebar at $610-621/mt (AED 2,240-2,280/mt), the prospects for Omani mills here remain gloomy,” one Oman-based supplier stated.


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