EghtesadOnline: Demand for imported hot rolled coils in Iran remained sluggish, as buyers still preferred locally-produced material, which is available at more attractive prices vis-a-vis the import duty.
At the same time, domestic customers of cold rolled coils showed interest in buying from abroad, given the demand of some industries.
Prices for HRC offered by Russian steelmaker Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, otherwise known as MMK, for April shipment to Iran are currently ranging within €435-445/ton FOB Astrakhan ($473-484/ton CFR Anzali). The supplier’s offers lost around €5-10/ton ($16-22/ton) since early February.
“Interest in buying HRC from Russia was minimal over the last month, so offer prices softened a bit recently,” an Iranian trader told Metal Expert.
However, according to Financial Tribune, the information about some deals from Russia at the lower end of the range was circulating in the market.
ArcelorMittal Temirtau was heard to sell around 6,000 tons of HRC for March shipment at $460/tons FOB Aktau (about $468/ton CFR Anzali) throughout the week. One of the pipe manufacturers chose to close a deal with the Kazakh supplier, being in need to restock.
Besides, South Korean HR coils for April shipment are available at $540/ton CFR southern ports, $10/ton below the previous levels. However, the discounts still failed to draw buyers’ attention.
“For about three months, price level from Korea as well as China is not workable in Iran,” a source said.
While commercial segment reveals slack demand for Korea’s HRC, some information about sizable booking of the re-rolling grade material, done by Mobarakeh Steel Company, is being discussed in the market.
In the CRC segment, a small lot (around 1,000 tons) of Kazakh material in port was booked at $530/ton FOB Aktau (about $538/ton CFR Anzali) this week. At the same time, no fresh offers from Russia’s MMK were heard in the market.
The activity on Iran Mercantile Exchange was quite strong over the last two weeks. In particular, MSC sold 98,951 tons of HRC, 13,262 tons of CRC and 4,717 tons of HDG over the reported period.