Lack of demand for finished steel products, together with continuing uncertainty about how long the disruptions will last, were the major reasons for the negative sentiment.
Even in China, which has been one of the main billet buyers recently, demand was expected to fall back in the coming weeks, with the market needing time to absorb imported material amid the weaker export demand for finished steel products.
The large quantities of imports have started to put pressure on China’s domestic steel prices.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel billet, domestic, exw Tangshan, Northern China
, was 3,030 yuan ($427) per tonne on April 3, down by 80 yuan per tonne week on week.
The spot market in Tangshan had 667,200 tonnes of billet inventories on April 3, down by 125,800 tonnes from 793,000 tonnes on March 27, according to a local industry information provider.