VIETNAM STEEL SCRAP: Thin demand amid falling domestic scrap, steel prices

Buyers of bulk cargoes of scrap imports in the key Southeast Asian market of Vietnam were largely on the sidelines during the week to Friday June 11, due to falling domestic scrap and steel prices in the country, sources told Fastmarkets.

Bulk cargoes of Japanese heavy scrap (HS) were offered at $550 per tonne cfr Vietnam this week, while bulk Japanese H2 cargoes were offered in a wide range. Offers were heard at $495-500 per tonne, $505-506 per tonne and $510 per tonne cfr Vietnam.

There were unverified reports of a transaction concluded at $510 per tonne cfr Vietnam, but this could not be confirmed. Sources said this was above market prices or it was the lot won from the Kanto Tetsugen auction earlier this week.

The June Kanto Tetsugen auction was concluded at ¥49,195 ($449.26) per tonne, on an fas basis, to a Japanese trader. The cargo is bound for Vietnam, sources said.

“The auction result is very high and is not in line with Vietnamese buyers’ indications,” a buyer source in the country told Fastmarkets on Thursday.

This is especially so with steel prices in Vietnam falling further this week, with a major steelmaker offering 12-32mm CB300-V/SD295 and CB400-V/SD390 rebar at 16.83 million Dong ($734.37) per tonne excluding value-added tax. These are for deferred payments of seven days; buyers making immediate payment will pay 50,000 Dong per kg lower.

The mill is also offering 6mm CB240-T wire rod at 17.18 million Dong per tonne, and 7-8mm CB40-T wire rod at 17.13 million Dong per tonne, all excluding VAT.

“The scrap import market is extremely quiet. I expect there to be more transactions from next week onward because the mills can’t hold out for such a long time,” a scrap trader in Singapore told Fastmarkets.

The return of Chinese buyers sourcing Vietnamese billet has also caused more optimism for the coming weeks, especially if Chinese steel prices continue on an upward trend and cause buyers to source billet imports from Southeast Asia.

Hong Kong-origin H1&H2 scrap (50:50) was offered at $470-480, down by $10-20 per tonne this week.

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

Bulk cargoes of United States-origin heavy melting scrap 1&2 (80:20) were offered to Vietnam at $520 per tonne cfr this week, up from $510 per tonne cfr Vietnam last week.

There were no bids heard for bulk deep-sea cargoes, although key market participants pegged market prices at $520 per tonne cfr Vietnam after a major South Korean buyer purchased a 32,000-tonne August-shipment deep-sea cargo from the US West Coast at $510-515 per tonne cfr South Korea.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for deep-sea bulk cargoes of steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20), cfr Vietnam was $520 per tonne on Friday, an increase of $20-25 from $495-500 per tonne the previous week.

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

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