Turkish billet offers rise, sales fail to follow

Posted on 08 July 2019

Source: Kallanish

Turkish billet offers have risen to around $435-440/tonne fob for August-casting material, in line with what CIS producers started offering last week after the Egyptian billet import duty was suspended. However, these offers are yet to attract buyers' interest, Kallanish hears from market participants.

Higher Turkish offers are pegged by strengthening scrap prices and further punctuated by strong iron ore, but ongoing soft rebar demand is preventing increased prices from catching on. Some restocking is due, which, considering especially the Egypt duty cancellation, could provide some much-needed support. But it is too early to say whether the tentative signs of recovery noted in the European and US markets will stick, traders say.

Thus far, some North African bids at around $420/t fob, and similar levels of enquiries in Southeast Asia, do not support the Turkish billet price increase, but the situation could change this week. "Billet suppliers are aware of rebar prices in major buying regions, and some of them need restocking and will have to buy at higher prices, if they want material," one trader explains.

With winter stockpiling season approaching, scrap availability is dwindling, pushing prices up, and "…mills would rather reduce output further than sell at a loss," another source says. Major August volumes are likely to find buyers somewhere between offer and bid levels, at around $430/t fob for both Turkish and CIS material, as some increase is looking likely, he adds. 

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