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Emirates Steel lowers rebar price as Ramadan approaches - 13 July 2012

United Arab Emirates-based steelmaker Emirates Steel (ESI) has set its rebar price for July and August bookings at AED 2,425/tonne ($660/t), down AED 110/t ($30/t) on June. The reduction is attributed by traders to the weak domestic rebar market and the slump in billet and scrap prices throughout most of June which saw Turkish rebar export offers decline. Ramadan, during which few bookings take place, is also around the corner.

Qatar Steel decided to carry over its previous month’s price of QAR 2,500/t ($686/t) CPT Dubai. Local re-roller Conares lowered its rebar price from the previous month by AED 30/t ($8/t) to AED 2,470/t ($672/t) ex-works for July bookings. However, despite a reported slight pick-up in construction activity, the market remains slow and sales are hard to come by. Turkish offers stand at $620-630/t cfr Dubai theoretical weight, although no significant bookings have been heard recently.

UAE rebar suppliers last week put the lower than typical availability of product in the market down to ESI either reducing capacity or allocating more output to the thriving Saudi Arabian market. One trader reported the steelmaker had shut a unit for maintenance. However, ESI rejected this view telling Platts Steel Business Briefing earlier this week it was sold out due to a higher than normal quota of bookings in May for the months of June and July.

With the current uncertainty over the global economy, how the UAE market reacts after Ramadan is anyone’s guess. “We have to wait and see what the Turks do in the second half of August – there has been talk of them cutting output,” a trader said. “Stocks are depleting, with slight shortages reported, so if there is a notable demand upsurge after Ramadan, this could magnify any price increase.”


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