South America steel import prices climb on higher offers, freight spike

Import prices for flat-rolled steel in South America soared in the week to Friday February 26, boosted by a swift increase in bulk freight rates and higher offers from Chinese mills, returning to the market after the Lunar New Year holiday.

By the end of the week, some of offers previously presented to the continent were pulled, due to uncertainties regarding delivery. Reduced availability of cargo vessels in Asia increased freight costs by more than $30 per tonne in some cases, disrupting the whole import market.
Bulk freight costs on China-South America routes were heard at $55-75 per tonne during the week.
“The order right now is ‘wait and see’,” one Brazil-based trader said.
“Did the whole world win the lottery or what? Prices won’t stop going up,” a second Brazilian trader complained.
Market participants expected that it would take 15-30 days for the freight situation to be normalized.

“We have started to hear customer concerns over vessel unavailability and shipment delays to...

Published

Renato Rostás

February 26, 2021

20:28 GMT

São Paulo