EghtesadOnline: Buying activity in the Iranian flat steel import market was modest in the week to Nov. 15, as prices for foreign material were significantly higher than the domestic market, sources told Metal Bulletin.
One reason for high import flat steel prices in Iran is increased cost of freight in the Caspian Sea basin sparked by a massive increase in grain shipments to the country, which has led to the lack of vessels.
The cost of freight from the Russian port of Astrakhan is $45-46 per ton, against a normal rate of $20 per ton. Transportation from Kazakhstan’s Aktau Port costs $30-31 per ton, against the typical rate of $15 per ton.
Metal Bulletin’s price assessment for imported 2 mm hot-rolled coil in Iran was $560-575 per ton CFR Iranian ports on Nov. 15, compared with $565-575 per ton CFR a week earlier, Financial Tribune reported.
Offers from Russian mills were reported coming in at €450 ($529) per ton FOB Astarkhan.
One cargo for end-January shipment was booked by a trader at the mentioned price. The tonnage was not disclosed.
Considering the current cost of freight from the port to Iranian northern port Anzali of $45-46 per ton, which would be equivalent to $574-575 per ton CFR.
Some sources, however, considered that a discount of around €10 per ton could be achieved, had the tonnage been big enough.
Recent bookings for Kazakhstan-origin material were reported at $535 per ton FOB Aktau, or $565 per ton CFR Anzali, considering $30 per ton freight cost between the two ports.
The price assessment for imported cold-rolled coil in Iran narrowed to $605-620 per ton CFR Iranian ports on Wednesday, against $600-626 per ton a week earlier.
Kazakhstan-origin CRC was available in the market at $570 per ton FOB Aktau, or $600 per ton FOB Anzali.
However, the price was considered too high by customers.
“[The price of $600 per ton CFR] is too expensive, considering that in the local Iranian market you can buy the material at $550-560 EXW,” one trader said.
Russia-origin CRC was said to be available at €490 per ton FOB Astarkhan.
In the coated steel segment, the situation was the same, with customers preferring domestic material because of more competitive prices.
China-origin hot-dipped galvanized coil with 1 mm thickness was available in Iran at $695 per ton CFR, sources said.
Considering the 26% import duty, 9% VAT tax and 3% transportation costs, this would be equivalent to $959 per ton.
In the domestic market, the material of similar thickness is available at $880 per ton EXW.
Therefore, sources said workable price for import HDG coil should not exceed $640 per ton CFR.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for import HDG coil in Iran was $640-695 per ton CFR, falling by $15 on the lower end from the previous range of $655-695 per ton CFR.