STEEL BILLET MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS
Indian square billet transaction values, denominated in
the national currency, were unchanged in Chennai in March. Different price
scenarios materialised in the other four regions researched by MEPS. Secondary
producers have intensified their lobbying campaign for the implementation of the
new BIS regulations to be postponed. The majority of these steel manufacturers
are operating on average at 50 percent of installed capacity. The Supreme
Court’s ruling on iron ore mining activities in Bellary (Karnataka) remains in
place. Steelmakers, without captive iron ore mining assets, continue to voice
their concerns over the shortage of high quality iron ore.
The South Korean steel market is dull. Local integrated mills are hopeful that
shipments to building firms will pick up ahead of the spring construction
period. Reinforcing bar transaction values are under pressure from oversupply.
The price differential between domestic and imported billet has narrowed to
$US20 per tonne.
The business climate has improved in Taiwan. Steel buyers returned to the market
place and finished steel selling figures started to strengthen. The price
premium for imported billet relative to domestic material has fallen below $US15
per tonne. Long delivery lead times and the depreciation of the Taiwanese dollar
made importing less attractive.
The trading environment remains challenging in Iran. Local steel merchants have
had mixed success in minimising their inventory levels. Sales volumes of long
products dropped significantly in weeks 10 and 11, weighed down by year end
sentiment. In early trading, offers from foreign billet suppliers to the
country’s Northern ports were unchanged at $US560-565 per tonne CFR.
Source: MEPS -
Also see: MEPS - Billet Price
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