“Given the rate at which prices are increasing, I won’t be surprised if prices exceed or rise close to $1,000 per tonne in the remaining months of the second quarter,” a flat steel trader in Southeast Asia told Fastmarkets.
East Asian cargoes could be the first to sell at $1,000 per tonne, he said, especially with a major Japanese steel producer already selling high-grade HRC to an automobile producer in Indonesia at $910 per tonne cfr.
A major South Korean producer has offered May- and June-shipment HRC at $890 per tonne fob. This is equivalent to $950-970 per tonne cfr Southeast Asia after including the recent surges of $60-80 per tonne in freight rates. A major Taiwanese producer is offering cargoes at $900 per tonne cfr Southeast Asia, with “no chance of discounts.”
The China factor
The lingering uncertainty over whether China will reduce its export tax...