FOCUS: Chinese buying drives up billet prices in Southeast Asia

China’s sustained presence as a buyer in Southeast Asia’s spot billet market has been boosting prices in the region, sources told Fastmarkets.

At least two cargoes involving close to 80,000 tonnes of Indian billet and 55,000 tonnes of Russian billet were booked at $395-400 per tonne cfr China after the country’s October 1-7 Golden Week to commemorate its 70th National Day.
“The major buyers are re-rolling mills in Jiangsu province who booked these cargoes for rebar production,” a trader in the region where the province is located said.
The ex-works prices of major mills in Jiangsu for the semi-finished steel product were at 3,470-3,530 yuan ($491-499) per tonne on Monday October 14, a billet trader in the province said.
This means there is a price spread of $37-39 per tonne once a 13% value-added tax and 2% import duty to sell the cargoes into the domestic market are taken into account.

A wider price spread is possible for transactions involving Iranian billet, which is often sold at...


Jessica Zong

Lee Ken Kiat

October 15, 2019

10:50 GMT