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Demand muted in largest Turkish MENA rebar export markets - 18 January 2012

Turkey’s largest seaborne Middle East and North Africa rebar export markets, UAE and Egypt, are unlikely to contribute heavily to fresh bookings in the coming weeks owing to lack of demand, market participants tell Steel Business Briefing.

While January deliveries to the UAE from Turkey amounted to only one large cargo, three mills are understood to be sending shipments due to arrive in February, a Dubai importer says. “The most recent bulk booking was made at $680/tonne cfr Dubai [theoretical weight basis] last week,” the importer says, adding: “This means three vessels will arrive next month”.

The latest booking amounted to 30,000 t and – plus two other vessels due next month – could leave Dubai facing oversupply during February, the importer believes.

Traders in Turkey looking to pick up smaller shipments are receiving offers at $670-675/t fob Turkish ports for February production, $5-10/t down on last week.

Meanwhile, the threat of renewed demonstrations on 25 January to commemorate Egypt’s uprising is discouraging buyers there, participants in the North African country say. The possible protests, plus uncertainty over the potential for planned energy price increases to affect steel producers in February mean that buyers’ plans are on hold.

Heavy imports by Egyptian buyers helped boost Turkish pricing into the New Year and the sudden decline in activity has perplexed some exporters. "Up until January we were doing a lot of business with Egypt, but the main reason this fell off was because of lack of political stability: now there is very little demand," an exporter at a Turkish mill says.


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