The CIS export market for square billets has seen no big changes in the middle of April. Semis demand is staying soft in the Mediterranean region, so suppliers are not able to push prices higher. Nonetheless, some producers are supported by steady demand in SE Asia and Saudi Arabia, so they have mainly fixed offers at $610-615/t FOB Azov/Black Sea. Only occasional contracts in some regions are concluded at higher prices at the moment. Quotations have also stabilized in the Far East. Given the buying upturn in Iran, some CIS suppliers have even managed to sign a number of deals in the Caspian region.
Metinvest International S.A. has sold the remaining volumes of April square billets (SAE 1008 grade) from Yenakiieve SW to SE Asia (Indonesia) at $624/t FOB Black Sea ($670/t C&F). At the same time, the supplier has already started offering May casting to other destinations at $610/t FOB Mariupol, unchanged w-o-w.
Market players report that a large batch of May square billets from REMZ was sold to Saudi Arabian re-rollers at $610/t FOB Black Sea early this month. LITAT Group sold IUD’s May production to Saudi Arabian buyers at the same level. In particular, the supplier still offers May square billets at $610/t FOB Black Sea at the moment.
BMZ overestimated the situation in the market last week, so now the company is offering its material abroad by $5/t lower than a week ago. Its May and June square billets of 3 sp/ps grade are available at $610/t FOB Odessa and 5 sp/ps grade – at $615/t FOB Odessa, though customers are not ready to pay more than $600-605/t FOB.
Metalloinvest has also started offering May square billet production from OEMK at $610/t FOB Novorossiysk, while the entire May output from Ural Steel will be sold to Iran, according to preliminary data.
Ukraine’s Elektrostal quotes square billet to be made in the second half of May at $615/t FOB Mariupol ($5/t up in a week), but buyers do not accept this level.
ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih sold square billet for production of SAE 1006 wire rod at $610-615/t FOB Black Sea last week, and it is staying out of the market now. It is rumoured that no volumes of May casting will be offered to foreign customers given the large number of orders left from the previous months.
Offers of May production from Volga-FEST and REMZ are coming to Iran at $635-640/t FOB Astrakhan ($660-665/t C&F Anzali) with pre-payment (depending on size). Contracts are reportedly signed at the same levels. May production from Ural Steel cannot be found in the market now, but prices are expected to rise by $10-15/t, to some $640/t FOB Astrakhan ($665/t C&F Anzali) against the most recent deals. Having sold 20,000 t of March-April casting of 150 mm square billet at about $645/t FOB ($655-660/t C&F Anzali) with pre-payment at the beginning of the week, Baku Steel (Azerbaijan) does not announce prices and volumes for May. Casting (Kazakhstan) is staying out of the market.
Buying remains high at the Far Eastern ports, but deal prices have not changed much over the past week. In particular, Amurmetal has sold two lots (20,000 t) of April-May production at $627/t FOB Vanino and $625/t FOB Vladivostok, which practically corresponds to the last-week levels.
( Source: metalexpertsgroup.com )