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ASEAN billet market rebounds

The Southeast Asian billet import market has turned upwards after weeks of decline, Exporters have either withdrawn from the market or else raised offer prices on Friday. Traders pondered if the market upturn is sustainable amid depressed regional steel demand and a poor regional economic outlook.

Offers for 150mm 3sp grade billet rose by $15/tonne from 5 November to $505-510/tonne cfr Manila and for 120/130mm 5sp to $515-520/t cfr. Prices have gone up on the basis of lower than expected inflation numbers and the stock market rebound in the US on 10 November, a Manila trader says. Buyers are showing “initial resistance and skepticism” whereas sellers are less eager to sell, the trader says. He is hopeful that “the worst is over, for now. Sometimes, stability in prices can bring back market confidence,” he notes.

But others are less optimistic over the run-up in prices. “The finished steel products market is still weak,” another says. There may have been a perceived shortage of steel arising from the recent announcement by Vietnam’s Hoa Phat to shut down its four blast furnaces, he adds. A regional trader wonders if the price rebound is “going to be another short-term spike which will die down soon.” He notes: “The market fundamentals are still very weak.”

A Philippine importer says that he did not “mark these small daily fluctuation up or down as consequential anymore.”we are assessed 5sp/ps or Q275 120/125/130mm square billet at $505-510/t cfr Manila, up $5 on week.

Meanwhile, a deal for 150mm 5sp blast furnace Vietnamese billet closed earlier in the week at around $508/t cfr Jakarta, importing sources say on Friday. The cargo is due shipment before January. “The market is up now,” a  buyer says on Friday.


Post time: Nov-14-2022