CIS FLAT STEEL WRAP: Prices in July jump, but further rises lack support

Prices for CIS-origin export hot rolled (HRC) have gone up by $35-50 per tonne over the past month, while those for cold rolled coil (CRC) have gained $30-60 per tonne.

However, the current price offers are unlikely to be accepted due to the lack of clarity on further movement in the market, sources have told Metal Bulletin.

The upward price dynamics in CIS exports in July reflected the increases in Chinese export flat steel prices.

The East Asian country’s flat steel export prices showed rises of between $35 and $55 per tonne in July, with support from strong demand in the domestic market.

Metal Bulletin’s price assessment for CIS HRC exports was $485-510 per tonne fob Black Sea on Monday July 31, up by $35-50 per tonne from $450-460 per tonne fob on July 3.

The price assessment for CIS exports of CRC was $530-570 per tonne fob on the same date, up by $30-60 per tonne from $500-510 per tonne on July 3.

Buyers in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt and Lebanon, are now seeing the arrival of quite significant tonnages of flat steel products from the CIS, which were booked at lower prices earlier, according to traders.

“Some time will be needed for all [this material] to be digested before buyers begin to be interested again,” a trader said.

“Also, with the recent rapid growth [in prices], there is […] no wish to risk purchasing material for shipment as late as October at the currently high prices,” he added.

Trade barriers
Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) has calculated the proposed anti-dumping duties on HRC from four countries, including Russia and Ukraine, in the range of 5.30-33%, according to a preliminary document seen by Metal Bulletin.

The duties would be implemented if the prices of HRC exports to the EU from the specified countries fall below a set minimum import price (MIP).

Russian steelmaker Severstal, which is facing duty at 5.30% on its HRC, has said that it expects to continue to make shipments of the product to Europe even if the proposed trade restrictions are imposed.

The final decision from the EC is expected by October 6.

On the other side of the ocean, Brazil has said that the conclusion of its anti-dumping probe into imports of HRC from Russia and China is expected to be announced in September.

The case was opened by the Brazilian government in July 2016, following a request from domestic steel producers ArcelorMittal Brasil, CSN and Gerdau.