EXCLUSIVE: China imports steel slab to circumvent blast furnace cuts, high iron ore prices

China is importing steel slab from Iran and Brazil to get around production limits placed on blast furnace operations in the country, industry sources told Fastmarkets MB in the past week.

Iranian slab had recently been sold to China at 3,200 yuan ($462) per tonne, including 13% value-added tax (VAT), market sources said. This is equivalent to $408.73 per tonne cfr on an import parity basis. More than 100,000 tonnes of July-rolling slab from major Iranian mills such as Hormozgan Steel (a subsidiary of Mobarakeh Steel) and Khouzestan Steel have also been booked with creative forms of payment, which includes the barter trade of electrodes from China, Fastmarkets learned. “Barter deals exchange the supply of electrodes from China against the delivery of slab,” one trader said. “Electrodes are involved, but straight payments are also taking place,” another trader said. Buyers' identities are unknown because Chinese trading houses have been transacting on their behalf, market sources said. Lower-grade stock slabs from Brazil have also been offered to China, at a price of around 3,000 yuan per tonne, including 13% VAT, which is equivalent to an...

Published

Vlada Novokreshchenova

Miranda Song

Lee Ken Kiat

June 17, 2019

17:05 GMT

Shanghai, Singapore, Dnepr