Vietnam demand for scrap thin amid Covid-19 waves, billet lull

Spot prices for imported ferrous scrap in Vietnam were lower week on week amid continued waves of Covid-19 in the country and a lull in demand for Vietnamese billet from China.

Bulk heavy melting scrap 1&2 (80:20) from the United States was offered at $550-558 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
Key market participants indicated that spot prices were at $545-550 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week.
There was one single buyer in spot market negotiation for a bulk HMS 1&2 (80:20) cargo from Australia, but the transaction was not concluded due to a large buy-sell gap.
There was market chatter that a transaction was concluded at $560 per tonne cfr Vietnam to a major blast furnace-based producer last week, although it did not confirm this to Fastmarkets.
Bids for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) were at $480 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $545-550 per tonne on Friday November 5, down by $5 per tonne from $550-555 per tonne cfr Vietnam a week earlier.
Offers for bulk Japanese H2 were at $525-530 per tonne cfr Vietnam, while offers for Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 (50:50) were at $520-525 per tonne cfr Vietnam.
Seller sources said buyers were not aggressive this week and were staying away from bidding.
“There has been a severe lack of bids this week - Vietnamese buyers are simply not biting,” a trader in Singapore told Fastmarkets.
This is especially so with a lack of demand for Vietnamese billet imports in China, as well as rising Covid-19 cases in various parts of Vietnam. Billet sellers are looking more favorably toward the domestic markets for billet sales, instead of overseas buyers in China and the Philippines.
“The spike in raw material prices in October is still being digested in Vietnam and this is causing steelmaking margins to be pressured,” a seller source handling domestic scrap told Fastmarkets.
There was also potential contract cancellations of Vietnamese billet by Chinese buyers on the horizon, amid the strict restrictions on rerolling and steel production in China.
“The spot market is too volatile now. It is hard to grasp where the price bottom is so it would be risky to offer anything now,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $525-530 per tonne on Friday, down by $10 per tonne from $535-540 per tonne a week earlier.

Paul Lim


Paul Lim

November 05, 2021

09:04 GMT