Slab import market activity has faltered further in East Asia, Kallanish notes. The market weakness is due to sluggish regional finished steel markets. However, some regional trading sources say that slab prices may have reached bottom.
Rerolling slab has been booked at $475/tonne cfr, a Taiwanese trader says. Deals involving Russian and South Korean slab took place at $480-485/t cfr Taiwan in the third week of October. In early October, deals were at $485-490/t cfr Taiwan, down from $495/t cfr in the last week of September.
The prevailing offer prices for January-shipment slab imports are at $480/t cfr, Indonesian and Thai trading sources observe. These prices were achieved in recent deals of Russian and Iranian slab to Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, a Thai trader says. Indonesian mill sources told traders that slab was at these levels during the third week of October.
Offers for shipments for end-December/mid-January were heard at $495-500/t cfr Indonesia in early October. Regional trading sources heard CIS slab deals taking place at $495/t cfr Indonesia at that time.
Although prices have been in a downtrend, Indonesian trading sources believe that slab prices will find support at current levels of $480/t cfr. They say that raw materials costs, such as iron ore and scrap, as well as oil, would bolster steel prices in the coming months. “Brazil will receive new quotas to export to the US and Brazilian slab will move there,” a trader says. Slab from Brazil was offered to the region at competitive prices last month.