EghtesadOnline: While the standstill between Asian buyers and major suppliers of slab from Brazil and Russia persisted, news emerged about at least one booking of Iranian product taking place in Southeast Asia.
Offers from major slab producers in Brazil and Russia were still heard at high levels across Asia–at least $450-455 per ton CFR–but those have generated little or no interest among buyers.
One 50,000-ton cargo from Iran was recently sold via tender at a price just below $410 per ton FOB, for shipment in March to Thailand, Metal Bulletin reported.
Sources in Thailand and Iran estimated that the concluded price would be around $430 per ton CFR, with freight rate making up about $15 per ton of the total and the rest mainly consisting of finance costs and the trading company’s selling margin, Financial Tribune reported.
“That price seems right,” one source said, noting that Iranian slab has been recently priced at up to $20 per ton lower than products from top Brazilian or suppliers from the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In Asia, however, Iran-origin slab has been regularly booked only by fewer than a handful of customers in Thailand and Taiwan.
Late last year, a couple of small deals were heard in Indonesia too, but major Indonesian slab re-rollers have not been buying Iranian material, sources added.
There was also news about Ukrainian slab sold into Asia at around $440 per ton CFR.
This is while import prices for slab in Asia have moved down lately, as most buyers refrained from placing orders amid an uncertain outlook in China and softening markets for coking coal and scrap.
Metal Bulletin’s Southeast Asia and East Asia slab import price assessment for the week ended January 23 was $430-445 per ton CFR, down $5 per ton from $435-450 per ton CFR a week earlier.