China dictating steel billet buying prices while Southeast Asia plays catch-up

Chinese steel billet buyers have booked large volumes of material this week at ever-higher prices while Southeast Asia consumers have been largely forced to remain on the sidelines, sources told Fastmarkets.

There were deals for Vietnamese blast furnace (BF) billet of 3sp quality from two different mills at $580 and $582-583 per tonne fob in recent days for shipment to China, with trading sources on Friday estimating the shipments at the equivalent of $600-603 per tonne cfr China.
Deals of Vietnam BF billet were closed to traders selling onto China earlier in the week at $575-578 per tonne fob.
Indian 3sp BF billet was heard sold to China on Thursday at $550 per tonne fob, which would work out at $585 per tonne cfr China, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Non Asean-origin billet, such as from India, incurs a 2% import duty to China, meaning that the all-in cost on this transaction would be around $597 per tonne cfr.

Prices were boosted by a spike in bulk freight rates this week amid mounting oil costs and a...

Published

Lee Allen

Jessica Zong

February 26, 2021

12:23 GMT

Singapore, Shanghai