2018 PREVIEW: CIS slab, billet to level off in short term, but long-term prospects uncertain

Commonwealth of Independent States steel export slab and billet prices are expected to level off in the first quarter of 2018 after the erosion of slab’s premium to billet in the second half of 2017, sources told Metal Bulletin. But longer-term prospects for the slab-billet spread are uncertain and could depend on Chinese investments in secondary steelmaking capacity.

“Our short-term forecast says that the slab price will catch up with billet and will possibly be even a bit higher, as we see an uptrend in the segment of slabs now,” Dmitry Nikolayenko, the sales director of Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest steelmaker, told Metal Bulletin.
“In the first quarter of 2018 we expect to see the growth in slab prices,” he added.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for CIS export slab was $505-510 per tonne fob Black Sea on Monday December 18, up $25-30 from the previous range of $475-485 per tonne fob.
The CIS billet index rose to $514 per tonne fob Black Sea on the same day, up from $495 per tonne fob Black Sea a week earlier.



Vlada Novokreshchenova

January 02, 2018

12:21 GMT