VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Buyers cautious amid falling steel prices in China

Import prices for ferrous scrap in Vietnam continued to fall in the week to Friday May 28 due to sentiment weakened by plunging steel prices in China recently.

Japanese H2 scrap cargoes were offered at $490-497 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, down by $13-20 per tonne from last week’s $510 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Three transactions were heard to have been concluded at $470 per tonne cfr, $472 per tonne cfr and $480 per tonne cfr respectively this week.

“There is no point in us offering cargoes to Vietnam now because prices are low,” a seller source representing a Japanese scrapyard told Fastmarkets on Thursday May 27.

Japanese heavy scrap (HS) was offered at $530 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week - a decrease of $13 per tonne week on week.

Major Japanese mini-mill operator Tokyo Steel has also not raised its purchase prices for domestic scrap since May 19, causing sentiment in Japan to remain weak.

Vietnamese steel mills have also lowered their purchase price for domestic scrap, and refrained from submitting bids for imports this week on account of falling regional steel and scrap prices. A major induction furnace-based steel producer in Vietnam lowered its scrap purchase price by 300 Vietnamese Dong per kg - or $13 per tonne - this week.

Prices for downstream SAE1008-grade wire rod have also fallen, with a major seller offering the product at 19,500 Dong per kg, while others asked for 20,200 Dong per kg. Transactions were heard at 19,100-19,200 Dong per kg.

Buyers in Vietnam are not actively seeking imported scrap due to their high premiums over domestic scrap. They estimated domestic scrap prices were equivalent to about $444 per tonne.

“That’s a big price gap between domestic and imported scrap, so I’d rather not go for imports,” a buyer source in Vietnam told Fastmarkets on Friday.

A transaction involving a bulk cargo of Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 scrap (50:50) was heard at $470 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $470-480 per tonne on Friday, down by $30-40 per tonne from $510 per tonne a week earlier.

A major buyer in Vietnam made a bid for a bulk cargo of United States-origin heavy melting scrap 1&2 (80:20) at $490 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week. Such cargoes were offered at $510 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Market sources indicated market prices for such cargoes at $495-500 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

A Southeast Asia-origin cargo of HMS 1&2 (80:20) was sold to Vietnam this week, but the seller did not disclose its price to Fastmarkets at the time of writing.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $495-500 per tonne on Friday, down by $15 per tonne from $510-515 per tonne a week earlier.

Containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) was sold to Vietnam at $450 per tonne cfr this week.

“Prices for containerized scrap have been dropping quicker than those for bulk cargoes because of the increasing availability of freight space,” a Vietnamese trader told Fastmarkets on Friday. The number of containers being loaded each bill of lading has also increased, the trader said.

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