GLOBAL BILLET WRAP: Major markets show mixed dynamics

Steel billet prices in Turkey bucked the general global trend during the working week from Monday October 9 to Friday October 13, rising slightly with a rebound in scrap prices.

Billet prices in the CIS region, India, Egypt and the UAE, meanwhile, have fallen with lower priced deals being heard.

And billet import prices in Southeast Asia remained largely unchanged at the beginning of the week, with no new deals, offers or bids heard in the market.

Billet prices were 3,550 yuan ($540) per tonne at 3pm on Friday October 13, up by 70 yuan per tonne from two weeks ago; the country was having a week-long national holiday one week ago.

The regional Tangshan government shut down rerolling mills that had not switched their heating fuel from coal to gas from October 9.

This action caused billet demand to decrease and dragged the prices sharply down from Monday’s 3,630 yuan per tonne to 3,500 yuan per tonne late on Thursday.

Friday’s rebound of 50 yuan per tonne was considered normal after three days of reductions, Metal Bulletin was told.

The billet export market was quiet this week with no significant deals heard. Market participants estimated that offer prices for exports could be around $510 per tonne fob.

Southeast Asia, India
Billet import prices in Southeast Asia remained largely stable at the beginning of the week due to the week-long National Day holiday in China, which started on October 1.

Russia-origin billet was heard on offer to the Philippines at $530 per tonne cfr, according to one source, while Taiwanese and Indian billet were on offer to the same country at $535 per tonne cfr.

Meanwhile, China’s domestic billet prices increased by a total of 150 yuan per tonne over the holiday period.

Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for billet exports out of India was $465-470 per tonne fob, down from the $475-485 per tonne of last week.

There were, however, no offers from mills this week for blast furnace (BF) grade billets.

The assessment is based on market participants’ idea of the price that India-origin BF grade billets can fetch in the current market.

CIS, Middle East-North Africa
Prices in the Black Sea billet export market fell further at the beginning of the week, with some lower-priced deals and offers being heard, while the decline in Turkish scrap import prices continued from the previous week.

The Metal Bulletin CIS billet index dropped by $12 per tonne to $494 per tonne fob Black Sea on October 9, from $506 per tonne fob a week earlier.

The workable price for CIS billet exports was generally said to be $500-505 per tonne fob Black Sea.

The billet import prices into the UAE fell this week, with only limited demand.

Billet import offers were heard at $490-500 per tonne cfr, but no major deals were confirmed as market participants wanted to see the new local rebar prices before making any bookings.

Import billet prices decreased this week in Egypt, although demand was improving compared with previous weeks.

A 5,000-tonne cargo of CIS origin billet was booked at $505-510 per tonne cfr, and another cargo of 5,000 tonnes was booked at $505 per tonne cfr from Ukraine.

Suresh Nair in Mumbai, Jessica Zong in Shanghai, Nadia Popova in Moscow and Serife Durmus in Bursa contributed to this report.

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