CIS slab producers started June with low availability, which
helped them maintain prices close to the high levels seen in
Meanwhile, a reduction in finished steel prices in most
regions early in the month made re-rollers more cautious about
Metal Bulletin’s weekly assessment of CIS-origin
slab export prices was $400-405 per tonne fob on June 5,
marginally down from $405-410 per tonne fob a week earlier.
In the following week, CIS slab prices fell again to $395-400 per tonne
Later in June, CIS mills had to reduce their offers even
further as they faced strong competition from suppliers in Brazil
At the time, Brazilian companies were offering material to
Europe at $400 per tonne cfr, while Iranian cargoes were being
sold at around $390 per tonne cfr.
CIS mills reduced their offers to $390 per tonne fob, but the
reduction was not enough to secure deals as, in Europe, the
viable price level for slab from the CIS region was said to be
around $385 per tonne fob Black Sea.
In Turkey, bids were coming in at around $374 per tonne fob.
The competition between Ukrainian and Brazilian slab producers
was said to be also influencing plate prices in Europe.
"The contest between Ukrainian and Brazilian slab producers is
not helping the stability of the [steel plate]
," a representative of an Italian re-roller told
At the beginning of this month, this trend started to reverse
as rising flat steel prices, iron ore and scrap
costs motivated CIS mills to increase offers
Bids from Turkey started to pick up, reaching around 415-425
per tonne cfr in the week of July 5, which led market
participants to believe the price increases in the CIS were
likely to hold.
In Southern Europe, buyers were willing to pay as much as
$400-410 per tonne cfr for the material.
In Southeast Asia, import prices felll in June, as
the market was affected by a seasonal slowdown
In mid-June, slab prices in the region fell below $400 per
tonne cfr, amid renewed competition between major slab
A slab re-roller in Indonesia launched a tender for 20,000
tonnes for August-September shipment, which was won by a local
supplier at around $400 per tonne delivered, sources said in
the week of June 14.
Brazilian offers in this tender were heard at $400-415 per
tonne cfr at the time, while a CIS supplier was willing to sell
the product at just under $400 per tonne cfr.
In Taiwan, offers from Russia were heard at around $390-395 per
tonne cfr, but buyers were not willing to
pay more than $380 per tonne cfr in mid-June.
In Thailand, the market remained slow, as inventories from
re-rollers were filled, especially with Iranian material.
Trading remained week for the rest of the month, with slow
regional demand and the celebration of the holy month of
Ramadan in Indonesia.
As a result, prices continued at $395-400 per tonne cfr
until early July, when the increase in flat steel prices
started to affect the market.
In July, tenders in Indonesia were launched for 20,000-30,000
tonnes of the product, but the relatively small volumes made
freight rates too expensive.
Offers from both Brazil and Russia were heard at around $420
per tonne cfr or above, while sources believe a viable price
would be closer to $410 per tonne cfr.
Also this month, Krakatau Posco offered slab to neighbouring
Malaysia and Thailand at $395 per tonne fob
, or $410 per
tonne cfr, a market participant told Metal Bulletin.
In June, reports published by Iranian media outlets said
Austria was extending a credit line to help build a steel plant
in Iran’s southern Gol-e-Gohar region.
This was immediately denied by the Austrian government
However, sources in both countries confirmed that a
steel project deal has been agreed
companies from Iran and Austria.
The steel plant will have the capacity to make 2.80 million tpy
of slab, according to an Iranian source.
Since slab capacity in Iran is already higher than hot rolled
coil (HRC) production capacity, the excess material will be
destined for export, which could put pressure on global
In Latin America, prices for Brazilian material were around
370-380 per tonne fob in early June.
At the beginning of the month, Brazilian steelmakers were heard
offering slab at $380 per tonne fob to Europe and Southeast
However, the market in Asia was weak, and in Europe bids were
heard at as low as $370 per tonne fob.
In June, Brazilian slab supply was limited because of an
accident in CSP’s steel mill area on May 28, which
forced the company to stop production.
Operations resumed on June 21
, but market
participants said production was still lower than levels prior
to the accident.
In mid-June, companies were heard offering inventory material
to clients in Asia. At the time, bids for this material were
heard at as low as $350 per tonne cfr India.
In the end of June, slab suppliers in Brazil were heard to be
in waiting mode, as flat steel prices from China were
In early July, offers started coming at as high as $390
per tonne fob, while buying interest remained close to $380 per
Recently, an order was booked slightly below $400 per tonne
fob, Metal Bulletin understands.
Following a consultation period with market participants which
ended on July 2, Metal Bulletin changed the specification of
its Latin America’s slab export price
future market price assessments.
The Latin America export slab $ per tonne fob main port series
was discontinued, and replaced with the Brazil export slab $
per tonne fob main port.
Since late May, several market participants have voiced
concerns about the Section 232 investigation, into the alleged
national security threat posed by steel imports into
The port of Los Angeles showed worries about possible tariffs
against slab imports, which could affect the
port’s operations, as it handles around 1.50
million tonnes of slab per year for California Steel
"We respectfully ask you to consider the significant [effects]
of the importation of slab steel on the port of Los Angeles and
the local and regional economy," the port executive director
Eugene Seroka said in public comments to the US Department of
The investigation made US customers more hesitant about new slab
But some slab producers had hoped that the government would
exclude slab imports from any eventual measures, which would be
reflected in higher prices.
"If slab imports are excluded, it would be very positive for
us," a source in a slab producer said.
More recently, at least one slab order was booked from a US
re-roller, according to sources.
"Too many companies in the US depend on third-party slab," a
source said. "Even if a tariff is applied, the USA would have
to continue importing slab," the source added.
Vlada Novokreshchenova in Dnepr contributed to this