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The highest bid for the cargo of 122x122mm billet on offer had emerged at $470 per tonne fob, which the South Korean steelmaker turned down, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, October 2.

The lowest bid was understood to have come in at $450 per tonne fob.

These compare with a price of about $500 per tonne fob at which Hyundai Steel last sold a 5,000-tonne cargo around a month ago.

Non-Chinese billet suppliers are struggling to maintain prices because of severe price undercutting by Chinese mills. The price gap between non-Chinese and Chinese billet is some $40-50 per tonne currently. Chinese billet is being offered at about $460 per tonne cfr.

The selling pressure seems unlikely to end anytime soon because many mills in China are experiencing difficulties securing credit, sources said.

“Steel prices can certainly still come off. They will not go up for the rest of the year,” a trader in Singapore said.