The buoyant import market for hot rolled coil in Vietnam is grinding to a halt, Kallanish notes. Importers have been active since the middle of January to restock material ahead of the long Lunar New Year holiday which commences later this week.
A 20,000-tonne cargo of Indian-origin 2mm and up thickness SAE 1006 HRC was booked at $500/t cfr late last week. The cargo is for February shipment. February-shipment orders from the same mill were done earlier last week in the low-$490s cfr.
In the last two weeks a leading re-roller ordered around 130,000t of, mostly rerolling, material at $480-500/t cfr, trading and importing sources report. The spurt in buying is because the re-roller has not been actively purchasing imported HRC for some time. Other Vietnamese importers were also active placing orders during the period.
On Tuesday a top-tier Chinese mill offered material at $515/t cfr, while Indian mills are offering at $510/t cfr. “Nobody is purchasing,” a Vietnamese trader says. “There is no meaning as buyers cannot issue a letter of credit (LC) now,” he says. An Indian trader observes: “Vietnam has become silent. They cannot open LCs now.” He heard Indian HRC offers at $510/t cfr were not accepted.
Kallanish is told that banks in Vietnam will close from 1 February for the Lunar New Year holiday. Many market participants have already stopped trading, a Chinese trader says.