CIS STEEL BILLET: Sentiment improves as side effect of thaw in Turkey-US trading

Sentiment in the CIS billet export market improved on Thursday June 7 after the resumption in scrap and rebar trading between Turkey and the United States earlier in the week.

Some market participants said the improvement had yet to be backed up by deals at higher prices, but Metal Bulletin’s CIS billet export index has pushed up by $8 per tonne since Tuesday to reach $506 per tonne fob Black Sea.

On Tuesday, several bookings of US-origin scrap were heard in Turkey, sending Metal Bulletin’s indices up by almost $10 per tonne, while a Turkish supplier sold a first batch of rebar to the US.

The thaw in trading activity followed the US decision to impose Section 232 import tariffs on steel from Canada, the EU and Mexico – all previously exempted from import restrictions.

This in turn saw the CIS export billet market turn positive after almost two weeks of decreases.

Bids from customers in the Middle East and North Africa were heard mostly at around $495 per tonne fob Black Sea, but CIS producers were not ready to drop below $505 per tonne fob Black Sea.

Several market participants said traders from North Africa were ready to pay $510 per tonne fob Black Sea, although no bookings had been confirmed at the higher price prior to publication.

“The market is still slow due to Ramadan and customers need time to adjust to higher prices,” an international trader told Metal Bulletin.