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CIS billet prices slip on bleak fundamentals, low demand - 16 July 2012

The very few steel billet deals concluded on Friday were mainly on the pre-payment basis, with one trader taking 30,000 tonnes of Belorusian Steel Works August-produced billet at $530/tonne fob Black Sea on a 100% prepayment basis and a 5,000t load-ready lot from the Black Sea producer with a very small prepayment at $537/t fob Black Sea, Platts Steel Business Briefing learned from the market sources.

Another deal was for a 5,000t lot at $550/t fob Black Sea, of August production/September loading billet. Based on the above deals, with prepayment on a $530/t cargo of this size being around $12-13/t, according to a trader, and considering load-ready cargo is outside the Platts daily FOB Black Sea assessment window of two to six weeks loading, the Platts FOB Black Sea steel billet assessment slid another $2.50/t to $547/t.

Market fundamentals remain unfavourable for stability and especially for the reversal of the descending trend, sources said, not only due to the expected further lull in the market due to holidays in the Islamic world and Europe, but also due to the macroeconomic weakness. One Saudi Arabian producer is said to be bidding at $585-590/t CFR Yanbu, suggesting FOB Black Sea equivalent prices of $530/t FOB.

Turkish producers are said to be still "holding out" at $565-570/t, but no sales were heard on Friday.


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