From the start of February until March 15, Fastmarkets heard of 23 sales of billet produced by blast furnace (BF) mills sold to buyers in China and Southeast Asia combined.
Some 16 of these were heard to have been produced by either Indonesian or Vietnamese blast furnaces, while the rest were from Indian or Russian mills. Of the total, there were 17 BF billet sales heard into China and 6 heard into Southeast Asia.
This is up sharply from the five BF billet cargoes heard transacted into Southeast Asia and China in the corresponding period of 2020 - a time when Southeast Asia was starting to get to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the total transacted in 2020, four were from Indonesia or Vietnam and only one cargo was sold to China.
China imported 9.81 million tonnes of billet in 2020, according to customs statistics, which dwarfed the 2.50 million...