In Asia, Chinese mills lowered their offers to try to increase export sales amid weak seasonal domestic demand, but buyers continued to avoid China-origin cargoes. Sentiment was mixed in the Middle East, CIS and North African regions amid poor demand and a quiet market.
Domestic billet prices were at 3,560 yuan ($554) per tonne including VAT as of 3pm in Shanghai on January 19, down 30 yuan per tonne from the previous week.
Mills became less bearish about domestic rebar prices upon seeing steady gains in the rebar futures market in the last few days, and some mills also raised their billet prices.
“A few steel mills outside Tangshan have raised their billet prices by 20 yuan per tonne to 3,530 yuan per tonne. Mills in Tangshan are likely to follow suit,” a trader in Shanghai said.
“Tangshan has 400,000 tonnes of billet inventory now. It is rising, but it is much lower than...