Asian slab import prices slump amid stronger coronavirus measures

Import prices for steel slab in Southeast Asia and East Asia have fallen over the past week in response to more stringent measures imposed by regional governments to combat the recent surge in regional novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases.

Concerns that stronger measures could eventually be enforced in Indonesia and Thailand, the main slab import markets in Southeast Asia, weighed on market sentiment due to its potential impact on business operations, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of steel slab imports, cfr Southeast Asia and East Asia was $390-400 per tonne on Monday March 23, down $15 per tonne from $405-415 per tonne a week ago.
Russian slab has been sold at $410-415 per tonne cfr China over the past week. Market participants said that China was the main buyer of semi-finished steel in Asia at present due to expectations of a rebound in domestic steel demand.
China also booked multiple steel billet cargoes in the past several weeks.

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Lee Ken Kiat

March 23, 2020

10:31 GMT