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Demand for rebar, wire rod imports weak in SE Asia - 28 November 2011

Demand for rebar and wire rod remains sluggish in Southeast Asia. Concerns over the slowing global economy continue to depress market sentiment. An estimated 40,000 tonnes of Turkish theoretical-weight rebar was booked at around $645/t cfr Singapore last week. "The recent buying was for stock replenishment," a trader says. Korean rebar was heard booked at $650/t cfr.

Chinese-origin theoretical-weight rebar was offered last week at $660/t cfr. “At this level, the Chinese are not competitive,” a Singapore trader notes. He believes that there is continued weakness in the markets because the year-end is approaching and there are uncertainties over steel demand in 2012.

“The market will not pay above $650/t cfr today,” a regional trader says. Fears of a global slowdown continue to cause buyers to hesitate before paying higher steel prices.

Chinese export prices for 5.5mm wire-drawing SAE 1008 wire rod are prevailing at $680-685/t cfr Philippines and at $695-700/t cfr Thailand, trading sources tell Steel Business Briefing.

A Chinese trader reports that he has closed Thai bookings at $695/t cfr. “This business is still okay compared to rebar trading which is very difficult,” he tells SBB. Another says: “There is not much business. Demand has slowed down.”

Southeast Asian trading sources tell SBB that they have not heard of any recent Chinese wire rod bookings either. “Recent bookings have been for Russian material,” a Manila-based trader reports on Russian bookings for lighter-weight wire rod in coils at $650/t cfr. Other offers for Russian material are $660-665/t cfr Philippines. The coil weight of the Russian rod is over 800kg compared to 2-2.5 t from China.


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