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Trades in SE Asian billet import market thin, prices flat - 20 February 2012

Importers of billet in Southeast Asia, in general, continue to stay away from the market a they believe prices will remain soft, sources tell Steel Business Briefing.

Most offer prices of billet are prevailing at $620-640/tonne cfr SE Asia. Some 10,000 tonnes of Russian billet was booked at $620/t cfr Thailand last week, at the same level as material booked for the Philippines two weeks ago: Russian billet is offered at $620-630/t cfr to Philippines and around $640/t cfr to Indonesia.

Offers of Korean billet have fallen to $635-640/t cfr Philippines, down $5/t from a week ago. A trader is offering Korean billet at $635/tonne cfr Indonesia.

Arrivals of cargoes booked one to two months ago have allowed regional importers, such as those in Philippines, to delay buying. “They are not in a hurry to book unless they can find a cheap cargo,” a Manila trader tells Steel Business Briefing.

Another driver behind the lack of buying interest is the fall in domestic base prices of debar by 3% last week in the Philippines, he adds.

Japanese billet was booked at $642/t cfr in a Vietnamese rolling mill’s purchase tender last week. "Prices are pretty much stable at this level," a trader in Vietnam tells SBB.


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