The hot rolled coil import market has weakened further in Vietnam, Kallanish notes. Suppliers of Chinese HRC were aiming for price hikes from late last week but these efforts were not successful. Market sentiment worsened towards the end of the week in tandem with the Covid-19 virus spread outside China.
During the week of 17 February, 30,000 tonnes of SAE 1006 2mm base thickness HRC for March shipment from a Chinese tier 1 mill closed at $470-472/tonne cfr Vietnam. Another 40,000t of same grade thickness HRC from the same Chinese mill was contracted on Monday (24 February) at $480-483/t cfr. The higher-priced cargo is due for April shipment. Earlier in the week, around 30,000t of SAE1006 2mm thickness HRC for March/April shipment from Japan concluded at around $495/t cfr.
Market sentiment has worsened in recent days as certain countries outside China are grappling with the containment of the virus. Offers for SAE 1006 HRC from a South Korean mill was initially at $495/t Vietnam cfr but on Thursday, its offers for 2-2.3mm thickness HRC for prompt end-March shipment were down to $480-485/t cfr trading sources report. A Vietnamese trader notes that there are many offers from the mill but buyers are few.
The South Korean mill would be willing to sell at $475-480/t cfr Vietnam, another Vietnamese trader says. He has heard an offer from a popular Chinese mill at $472/t cfr, down from the $478/t cfr offer the previous Friday. "Prices are falling dramatically," he says. He says that bids are currently prevailing at $460/t cfr Vietnam.
Kallanish cut its 2-2.7mm SAE1006 HRC assessment on Friday to $470-475/t cfr Vietnam, down $4 week-on-week.