Tradable billet prices in China fall again, mood in SE Asia worsens too

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 16:30:05 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

After a very short rebound, local billet prices and tradable levels for imports have declined again in China since last week. As a result, most suppliers have not been interested in offering to China. At the same time, after a number of deals, sentiment in the Southeast Asian market has worsened also, with buyers voicing lower bids.

The average local billet price in China has slipped by RMB 62/mt ($9/mt) over the past week to RMB 3,743/mt ex-warehouse, translating to $477/mt excluding 13 percent VAT, according to SteelOrbis.

In these conditions, the tradable level for imported billet has also declined, to $475/mt CFR, versus $490/mt on average last week. “As the local market moves down, there will be no interest in imports,” a Chinese source said, adding that bids are at $470/mt CFR.

In such conditions, offers have also been limited, at $500-505/mt CFR for ex-Iran billets. “There are no official offers in the market since no one is looking to buy billets,” a trader said about the situation in Taiwan and China.

At the same time, in Southeast Asia, the mood has also become more bearish. There has been information about a sale of 25,000 mt of ex-Malaysia 5SP billet to the Philippines at $548/mt CFR, but most market participants agree that the deal is not fresh and was done early last week. This week, the tradable level has slipped to $545/mt CFR so far, versus $545-550/mt CFR last week. “Since there are no takers, some sellers were encouraging bids as low as $545/mt CFR Manila. Buyers, however, wanted $540/mt CFR at the highest,” a local trader said.

Last week, some small lots of IF billets were reported to have been sold to the Philippines at $540/mt CFR, which has already become too high this week.

$1 = RMB 6.9468

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