VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Chinese demand for Vietnamese billet boosts spot prices

Renewed interest for Vietnamese billets from Chinese buyers and higher offers from Japanese scrapyards have boosted prices in the week to Friday October 16.

China has turned attention to imported billet amid winter production restrictions which kicked in on October 1 and run until March 31, 2021, meaning Vietnam will likely continue to purchase imported scrap to feed this demand, industry sources said.

Japanese scrapyards were also offering at higher prices because the October Kanto Tetsugen auction result was not as low as expected last week and sellers felt there was sufficient spot demand to increase offers.

There were transactions heard at $297-300 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam this week for bulk Japanese H2 cargoes.

These materials were offered at $300-304 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam and at $310 per tonne cfr northern Vietnam. Bids were at $295 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam.

H1&H2 (50:50) cargoes from Hong Kong were offered at wide ranges of $290-300 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam. Bids for H1&H2 (50:50) cargoes were at $303 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam.

Bulk Japanese HS cargoes were offered at $327-328 per tonne cfr Vietnam, with buyers bidding at $315-320 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Bulk Japanese shredded cargoes were offered at $330 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

But not all buyers were keen on purchasing material this week, with some expecting prices to fall in the near term.

“Sentiment is a bit mixed. While Japanese scrap offers are higher, the demand for billet may taper off soon, so it is better to wait and see,” a buyer source in Vietnam told Fastmarkets on Friday.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment of steel scrap H2, Japan-origin import, cfr Vietnam was $297-300 per tonne on Friday, up by $5-8 per tonne from $292 per tonne on October 9.

Deep-sea HMS 1&2 (60:40) from Europe was offered at $310 per tonne cfr Vietnam, with market sources estimating that equivalent offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the United States were at $314-315 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

Bids were at $303-305 per tonne cfr Vietnam for such materials. Industry sources said prices remained stable amid limited interest for such materials.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $307-310 per tonne on Friday, unchanged week on week.

Bids for containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20) from the US West Coast were at $270 per tonne cfr southern Vietnam.

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