Press releases

CIS billet holds at $605/t, sentiment is mixed - 1 March 2012

CIS billet export prices
13 Feb - 12 March 2012

©SBB 2012


13 Feb 12

20 Feb 12

27 Feb 12

5 Mar 12*

12 Mar 12*

FOB $/t

 560 - 580 

 585 - 600 

 590 - 610 

 590 - 610 

 590 - 610 

* SBB forecast, except announced surcharges

More market participants have confirmed to Steel Business Briefing that there have bought billet from the Black Sea at $605-610/tonne. Sources admit the tonnages are not large and the sales are largely fired up by Turkish buying interest at around $630/t cfr, since scrap has increased by approximately $20/t since two weeks ago to $450/t cfr Turkey.

Apart from Turkey, only Saudi Arabia is said to be actively sourcing billet, with sources musing as to how long this buying spree will last. "Here is your dilemma: prices are pushing higher, supply is tight, but how long will it last?" one producer-linked source says. Sadly, he adds, the finished product market is still pretty weak, and demand low.

Despite this, the majority of sources are looking at the next two-three weeks with a considerable amount of optimism, they say. There are a few, however, who value billet today at under $600/t fob Black Sea, citing fewer enquiries than last week and the lack of dialogue between buyers and traders. "Last week buyers would come back with counter-offers, but today they just don't reply," one says.

Mixed sentiment indeed, with little clarity on the real production cuts undertaken by the CIS mills in the winter months or their production plans. "We know the mills reduced output considerably, but there is no official data," one trader says. Producers told SBB earlier in the winter that there were no production cuts outside the regular winter schedules, as previously reported.


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