Asian billet market strengthens after holiday

Posted on 19 February 2021

Firm market sentiment in China has strengthened the regional billet import market in Asia, Kallanish notes.

Offers for Vietnamese blast furnace billet have risen to $565/tonne fob Vietnam, up $25/t from deals transacted to China between 5-9 February. Offers for Vietnamese induction furnace billet are now hiked to $550/t fob. Freight from Vietnam to China is estimated at around $10-15/t. ASEAN billet is typically priced around $10/t higher than non-regional billet because it is exempt from a 2% import duty, unlike CIS or Indian product.

Regional trading sources report hearing that Chinese importers are bidding at $560/t cfr for non-ASEAN billet. This price is, however, deemed too low now for overseas suppliers, especially after the upturn in scrap, Chinese and regional trading sources said on Thursday. There were bookings for non-ASEAN billet at $545/t cfr China also between 5-9 February.

Vietnamese trading sources say they have not yet heard of deals at the new, higher levels. The market is slowly warming up after being on holiday for the Lunar New Year. "It will be clearer next week," a regional trader says.

Iranian billet suppliers are keen to export and are offering material at $560/t cfr China. Iranian offers for April shipment are prevailing at $570-575/t cif Thailand or $570/t cfr Indonesia. Indian billet was heard booked last week at $560/t cfr Manila and at the same price to Thailand. Trading sources attribute the Indian material supply to the region to the recent spate of Indian billet export tenders.

Source : Kallanish