China billet contract cancellation fears send SE Asian prices tumbling

Prices in Southeast Asia’s steel billet market have tumbled over the past week amid speculation that Chinese billet importers could annul contracts on the grounds of virus-related force majeure.

Market participants are concerned that any revoked transactions could result in low-priced material being offered to Southeast Asia, placing pressure on regional billet prices.
Billet suppliers affected include Malaysian and Vietnamese mills, with at least 60,000 tonnes of orders heard to have been cancelled already, according to industry sources. This information could not be confirmed at the time of writing.
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade announced on January 30 that it would offer force majeure certificates to affected businesses.
Steelmakers in the Commonwealth of Independent States have started to offer prompt-shipment billet cargoes, stoking fears that Asian buyers have defaulted on prior bookings, Fastmarkets reported earlier.

Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for steel billet, import, cfr Southeast Asia, which mainly looks...


Lee Ken Kiat

February 07, 2020

11:23 GMT