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Thailand's exports of billet soar

Posted on 29 September 2021

Thailand's exports of billet far exceeded its imports in August, Kallanish notes. Thailand billet exports have been rising due to strict Covid-19 curbs hitting the domestic market in recent months.

Thai exports of billet reached 132,414 tonnes in August, which accounted for 40.7% of year-to-date imports of 325,637t. China took up the lion’s share of 85% of total Thai exports last month.

The Covid lockdown is the main reason for the boom in billet exports, a Thai trader says. China is paying the highest price in the region, and some Thai billet importers even re-exported material, he says. Covid restrictions centred around Bangkok were imposed at end-June to rein in the country's worst coronavirus outbreak so far.

Billet exports in August reached "breakthrough" levels, another Thai trader says. He cannot recall Thai monthly billet exports ever hitting 100,000t before. “There are market rumours that total exports could hit about 200,000t during June-October since there are Thai billet export cargoes due for September and October shipments,” he adds.

Conversely, Thai imports of billet in August at 55,518t were much lower than the August 2020 total of 185,787t. Thai billet imports in January-August were 802,983t, down from 974,976t in January-August 2020. Imports of billet from Oman were 23,203t last month compared to 94,098t in August 2020. Trading sources believe most billet imports from Oman actually originate in Iran.

Thai billet exports 

Destination

August (t)

Jan-Aug (t)

World

132,414

325,637

China

111,862

261,720

Philippines

20,552

46,762

Taiwan

-

17,155

 

Thai billet imports

Origin

August (t)

Jan-Aug (t)

World

55,518

802,983

Oman

23,203

453,429

India

19,081

116,789

Russia

3,244

132,928

UAE

9,989

38,252

Indonesia

-

35,610

Vietnam

-

25,795

Source : Kallanish