Global billet prices have picked up over the past month on soaring scrap prices and reduced availability in some markets, particularly the CIS.
At the same time, the domestic billet price in China is largely stable, which has narrowed the gap between domestic and import prices making imported material from some suppliers unattractive.
Fastmarkets’ assessment for steel billet domestic, ex-works Tangshan, Northern China was 3,340 yuan ($472.50) per tonne on Tuesday November 5, down 10 yuan per tonne week-on-week.
Meanwhile, recent offers for Russian and Indian billet were reported within the range of $405-410 per tonne cfr, which, including 13% VAT and a 2% import duty, would be equivalent to $465.75-471.50 per tonne.
The only attractive price for Chinese buyers could be offered by Iranian suppliers, which provide the lowest offers in the global market due to US sanctions, but mills in the country are said to be almost sold out until...