VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Attempted year-end sell off dampens sentiment

An increase in the number of physical scrap cargoes offered in key import market Vietnam in the the week to Thursday December 31 has dampened sentiment, market sources told Fastmarkets.

Many Japanese sellers were offering lower so that they can clear out all their physical cargoes and close their trading books for the end of the year, a Vietnamese buyer source told Fastmarkets on Wednesday December 30.

Japanese H2 cargoes were offered at $470-475 per tonne cfr Vietnam, although there were no firm bids heard from buyers. Some steel mills indicated that they could purchase at $460 per tonne cfr Vietnam, but there were no firm bids, sources said.

“Many buyers are skittish after seeing the price falls in China for both steel and iron ore, so they would rather wait and see,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on Wednesday.

Buyers said bulk Japanese HS had been offered to them at $480-485 per tonne cfr Vietnam, but there was limited interest to purchase by major buyers.

“Our inventory levels are high and it is much better to purchase domestic scrap,” a buyer source in Vietnam told Fastmarkets.

Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 (50:50) was offered at $455 per tonne cfr Vietnam. There were no transactions heard concluded for these materials.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $465-470 per tonne on Thursday, unchanged from a week earlier.

Bulk shipments of HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the US West Coast were offered at $500-505 per tonne cfr Vietnam, unchanged from the prior week.

Bids were heard at $470-480 per tonne cfr Vietnam, but there were no transactions heard.

Bruneian material was offered at $475 per tonne cfr Vietnam. But this was not used for the price assessment because it does not adhere to Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology.

Many market participants in the United States and Asia have already left the spot market for the holidays after closing their trading books, with no spot discussion heard for bulk HMS 1&2 (80:20) cargoes.

“Almost all steel mills in Vietnam will wait until after the New Year to come back into the spot market,” a scrap trader in Singapore told Fastmarkets on Wednesday.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $480-500 per tonne on Thursday, unchanged week on week.

Containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) was offered at $450 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

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