ACCOUNT PROFILE

Southeast Asian longs import market pauses

Posted on 29 January 2021

Import markets for long products in Southeast Asia have been quiet, Kallanish notes. Buying interest is thin because of bearish market sentiment.

Offer prices for wire rod from Tangshan are generally prevailing at $615/tonne cfr Manila, unchanged from last week. Deals took place at $605/t cfr early this week, also the same level as last week. These are believed to be position cargoes, and are for March and even February shipments.

The higher-tier Chinese mills continue to maintain offers for wire rod from China at around $650/t cfr Manila, traders report. These mills are unwilling to lower prices on the back of firm iron ore costs.

"Iron ore prices only started coming off this week," a trader notes. While buyers currently prefer to wait amid market softening, they are also "…ready to snap up a good offer" from aggressive short-sellers or desperate traders who need to unload a long position. "The buying mood is weak," another trader says.

Kallanish assessed SAE 1008 6.5mm diameter wire rod at $605-625/t cfr Manila on Thursday, unchanged on-week.

Similarly, in the regional rebar import market, a booking took place at below Chinese mills’ export prices. A Chinese trader sold 10-32mm diameter theoretical-weight rebar during the week at $625/t cfr Singapore. The cargo is for April shipment.

It is hard to understand how the seller can achieve the deal price, a local trader says. Chinese mills say their production cost price is $650/t cfr because iron ore is still high. But he expects export trading activity to pick up in the next two weeks because Chinese domestic demand is tapering off ahead of the Lunar New Year. 

In Hong Kong, a trader reports an offer from a Chinese trader for open-origin actual-weight rebar for shipment by end-2021 at $500/t cfr Hong Kong.

Kallanish narrowed its weekly BS4449 500B 10-40mm diameter rebar price to $630-635/t cfr Singapore theoretical weight, down $2.5 week-on-week.

Source : Kallanish