China pays more for ASEAN billet

Posted on 26 April 2021

Chinese billet importers have accepted higher prices for ASEAN billet, Kallanish understands.

Blast furnace 150mm billet from Indonesia and Malaysia was heard booked recently at $670-675/tonne cfr China, trading sources report. A regional trader says the combined tonnage concluded was around 50,000-60,000 tonnes.

The Malaysian mill, which sold a 30,000t cargo earlier in the week, secured $675/t cfr because its cargo is for May shipment. Two Indonesian mills supplied 10,000t each for June shipment at $675/t cfr and $670/t cfr respectively, another trader reports. He says the cargoes are for commercial billet. ASEAN billet transacted at $660/t cfr during the first two weeks of April.

Some Chinese traders say speculation could be behind the higher-priced deals. Although the domestic Chinese market has stabilised, it is still firm, a trader notes. An Indonesian blast furnace mill was offering commercial billet at $675/t cfr, a Chinese trader reported on Friday. He did not hear of deals, however.

A Vietnamese mill previously sold 3sp blast furnace billet at $635/t fob Vietnam during the week ending 16 April. It subsequently hiked export prices to $645/t fob but trading sources in Vietnam did not hear of concluded deals. Freight is around $30/t from Vietnam to China.

Meanwhile, there was an uptick in non-ASEAN billet orders in China in recent days. A 30,000t cargo, for June/July shipment, from an Indian mill was heard booked on 23 April at $648/t cfr China, trading sources report. There was also a 40,000t cargo of billet from Algeria booked at the same price of $648/t cfr China, for June shipment.

The above-mentioned Indian mill’s second 30,000t billet cargo was awarded in a 22 April auction at $598.5/t fob India. Indian traders say the June-shipment cargo is destined for China and estimate the award price translates to $645-650/t cfr China. The mill previously tendered another 30,000t parcel at $590.5/t fob India on 20 April. Both billet sales are on an advanced payment basis. Freight is estimated at $35-40/t to China.

Kallanish notes that a 20,000t 150mm billet June-shipment cargo, also from India, was booked on 22 April at $648/t cfr China.

Source : Kallanish