Chinese suppliers are maintaining export prices for long products in Southeast Asia. Transaction prices plunged around two weeks ago as some suppliers were bearish on Chinese domestic demand amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Chinese exporters are aiming to export rebar for end-April shipments at $450/tonne cfr Singapore theoretical-weight basis. A certain Chinese mill had previously concluded around 50,000 tonnes each to Singapore and Hong Kong for mostly end-March shipments at lows of $435-445/t cfr Singapore. The mill is currently not making any export offers.
A trader is heard offering Turkish rebar for May shipment at $450/t cfr Singapore. Chinese rebar has an advantage over Turkish material as its cargoes are smaller and delivery times shorter to Singapore, Hong Kong and the region. A Hong Kong importer hears Turkish rebar offered at $470/t cfr Hong Kong actual weight, which he believes is a direct offer from a mill. “But there’s no interest,” he adds.
Chinese suppliers want to maintain export prices because they expect domestic steel sales to rebound in April when the virus outbreak is under control. “They would rather cut production now,” a regional trader says. This will also help mills overcome the logistics bottlenecks that are taking place, including for the import of raw materials.
Certain Chinese mills have reduced production, too, as they were also not able to carry out maintenance work during the Lunar New Year because of the outbreak.
Singapore importers are currently bidding for rebar at $430-440/t cfr. “There are no sellers so far at $440/t cfr,” a trader notes. On Thursday, Kallanish maintained its weekly BS4449 500B 10-40mm diameter rebar price at $440-445/t cfr Singapore theoretical weight.
Meanwhile, offers for wire rod from China are similarly holding at $470/t cfr Manila, unchanged from last week. Malaysian mesh-grade alloy-added wire rod is offered at $480/t cfr Manila and Indonesia. A Manila trader reports a 500t position March-shipment lot for Tangshan wire rod concluded at $465/t cfr Manila earlier in the week. "It's quiet now," another says.
Kallanish maintained its SAE 1008 6.5mm diameter mesh-grade wire rod assessment at $460-465/t cfr Manila.