CIS PIG IRON: Market stable on uncertain price trend

The export pig iron market from the Commonwealth of Independent States was calm during the week to Thursday June 3 amid an uncertain price trend.

Fastmarkets assessed the price of high-manganese pig iron, export, fob main port Black Sea, CIS at $625-635 per tonne on Thursday, widening downward from $630-635 per tonne on June 2.

The latest sales from CIS to the United States were reported at $665 per tonne cfr, or close to $630-635 per tonne fob, sources said.

The gap between current pig iron and scrap prices suggests that the pig iron market level should fall to $640 per tonne cfr, sources said.

Suppliers have been optimistic during the week to June 3.

“The base scenario in the US pig iron market is to maintain the current level, but a slight increase is also possible,“ one exporter said.

“We heard that the freight market is crazy,“ the source added.

The freight rate from Black Sea to New Orleans - the main port for pig iron imports to the US - has increased to $40-43 per tonne, from $32-35 per tonne in May, Fastmarkets learned.

“Freights to the US rose because of the massive demand for large vessels, like supramax now, while freights to Italy and Turkey [the key neighboring outlets for CIS-origin pig iron] remained relatively unchanged, because smaller vessels are used,“ a trader said.

“We were ready to sell to the US at $665 per tonne cfr, although now we aren’t interested in this level because iron ore has rebounded to $210 per tonne,“ an exporter said.

Offers from Russian suppliers to the US were heard at $675-690 per tonne cfr, sources said.

Considering the increased freight rate, that is roughly $635-650 per tonne fob.

In Italy, the second-largest regular pig iron buyer, offers of Ukraine-origin pig iron were reported at $670 per tonne cfr, about $640-645 per tonne cfr. This price is unworkable for buyers because both final users and traders have restocked earlier, sources said.

Sources from the buyers’ side estimated the workable level at $650 per tonne cfr, or $620-625 per tonne fob.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for pig iron, import, cfr Italy was $650-670 per tonne on Thursday, widening from $660-665 per tonne on May 27.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for low-manganese pig iron, export, fob main port Baltic Sea, CIS was $630-650 per tonne fob on Thursday, widening downward from $640-650 per tonne on May 27.

Offers were heard at $650-660 per tonne fob while buyers estimated the price level at $630 per tonne fob, sources said.

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