One of the reasons for the rising prices was the strong demand
in the Chinese domestic market over the past week, which has
also driven up prices for non-China-origin material in the
Billet prices in the Chinese local market were 3,400 yuan
($501) per tonne at 3pm on Friday July 14, which was 120 yuan
($18) per tonne higher than last Friday.
The price of 3,400 yuan per tonne for domestic billet in China
was a five-year high. However, market participants were less
confident about further price rises.
No billet export offers out of China were reported this week
because of the strength of domestic demand.
Billet prices in Southeast Asia continued to rise over the past
week, supported by the absence of China from the market and
global price growth for the semi-finished product.
The Philippines remained the most active market for billet,
with one source describing it as "the market ready to pay the
highest price in Asia today".
A cargo of CIS-origin material was heard booked in Manila
through a trader at $451 per tonne cfr, while several cargoes
of Japanese billet were heard booked at $445 per tonne
Customers in the country were ready to pay $447 per tonne cfr
later in the week, while some sources believed that $450-455
per tonne cfr could be workable today in the Philippines.
Russian material from ports in the country’s Far
East province, and CIS material from the Black Sea, was heard
offered at $455-460 per tonne cfr to The Philippines, Indonesia
and Thailand, Metal Bulletin has learnt.
Taiwan and Thailand were heard offering billet to the region at
$440-445 per tonne fob, which is around $460 per tonne cfr in
Meanwhile, Indian billet offers in Indonesia were heard around
$445 per tonne cfr. Iranian billet offers were $440-445 per
tonne cfr, while material from the Gulf Co-operation Council
nations (GCC) was offered around $440 per tonne cfr.
However, no bookings were heard, as customers were generally
bidding $430-435 per tonne cfr for the material, with the
highest bid heard at $440 per tonne cfr.
Some sources believed that the Indonesian market has sufficient
stocks to wait and see which way the market will move.
CIS, Middle East-North Africa
CIS export billet prices continued to rise over the past week,
driven by the strong demand in the Egyptian market.
Egypt is currently enjoying buoyant long steel demand and price
growth, and its producers, which are protected by an import
duty, have been ready to replenish their billet stocks at the
Ukraine’s Elektrostal was heard selling some
10,000 tonnes of billet at $418 per tonne fob Azov Sea, which
would be equivalent to $423 per tonne fob Black Sea.
Billet offers from the CIS region were generally within the
range of $420-430 per tonne fob Black Sea this week.
CIS region offers into Turkey were heard at $435-440 per tonne
cfr, while market participants believed that the price of $435
per tonne cfr was workable for prompt-shipment material.
However, there is not much product available for prompt
shipment, since Egypt was buying a lot of such material
CIS mills were offering material that will be produced in the
second half of August.
Turkish domestic and export billet prices have
in line with rising imported scrap
values, while the price of imported billet has been
comparatively stable over the past week.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for
domestic billet in Turkey was $450-460 per tonne ex-works, up
from the $428-450 per tonne of last week.
"Billet prices are still rising. The main reason looks like the
increasing scrap prices. We expect this trend to continue," a
Turkish source said.
Billet import prices into the UAE increased
, but buying was weak as buyers preferred to wait
for new domestic rebar prices.
Iranian billet was on offer at $410-420 per tonne cfr, and
billet from GCC member countries was on offer at $420 per tonne
Vlada Novokreshchenova in Dnepr, Jessica Zong in Shanghai,
Suresh Nair in Mumbai, Serife Durmus in Bursa and Felipe Peroni
in São Paulo contributed to this report.