Climbing Chinese steel prices, bullish sentiment over market conditions in the months ahead and production cuts in China’s steelmaking hub of Tangshan are the main reasons given for China’s renewed interest in imports in recent days.
“I think China will buy more imported billet. We are seeing more active inquiry from the country now,” a Southeast Asian mill source told Fastmarkets.
China booked at least two cargoes of Vietnamese blast furnace (BF) billet more than a week ago during the Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1 at $427 and $430 per tonne fob Vietnam. Freight costs were said to be around $10-11 per tonne.
In recent days, China has also booked Vietnamese billet at $435 per tonne fob, while two BF billet cargoes from Indonesia were said to have been sold to the East Asian country at $445 per tonne cfr and $448 per tonne cfr.
Traders are now...