FOCUS: CIS billet sellers may need to drop prices, reallocate volumes amid Asia slowdown

Sellers of steel billet from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) could be forced to sell more of their material outside of Asia and at lower prices, if demand in that region does not recover, sources have told Fastmarkets.

“I guess mills located in the Black Sea basin will try to sell billet in the nearer markets and in non-traditional markets such as Africa, Latin America and Sri Lanka,” a Ukraine-based producer said.
“If China is ready to pay higher prices, we would not mind selling there. However, I guess it has already reached its limit,” he added.
CIS billet exporters have been continually active in China over recent months because of the high demand in the world’s largest steelmaking nation, which has allowed sellers to trade material at increasingly higher prices and to drag upward the import prices in Southeast Asia.
China imported 1.07 million tonnes of steel billet in January-April 2020, up from only 69,000 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, according to official Chinese trade statistics.

The East Asian nation has emerged as a key buyer of CIS billet at a time...


Lee Allen

Vlada Novokreshchenova

June 23, 2020

13:48 GMT

Dnepr, Singapore