EghtesadOnline: Iranian billet exporters achieved a considerable increase in exports over the past few weeks, mainly supported by the uptrend in the Commonwealth of Independent States semis segment.
Deal prices for Iranian square billet to foreign outlets were fixed within $390‑400/ton FOB, indicating an increase of around $10‑20/t compared to February levels. Key support was provided by the uptrend in semis offers from the CIS as well as strong overseas demand.
In addition, offers from China were at least $40/t higher than the ones from Iran.
“Demand in the Middle East was quite strong, while Chinese prices were too high to accept in the region,” an Iranian producer told Metal Expert. As a result, Iran’s producers managed to close sales not only to the Persian Gulf states (totaling 100,000 tons), but also to Southeast Asia with around 50,000 tons, Financial Tribune reported.
Esfahan Steel Company managed to sell 100,000 tons of April-May shipment semis within $390‑395/t FOB ($10‑15/t above the previous levels) to the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Thailand over the past two weeks, according to the company’s source.
Khouzestan Steel Company closed deal for 20,000 tons of material for end of April shipment to Oman and 30,000 tons to Indonesia about seven or 10 days ago at $400/t FOB (+$20/t since February).
After the sales go through, KSC intends to sell even at higher prices. “We are going to open the tender for billet next week and intend to sell [May shipment material] at $410/t FOB,” a company representative told Metal Expert.
As China remains out of the market amid very high pricing, the company expects offers for Iranian material to increase even further.
ESCO is reportedly fully booked until the second half of May.
Another company, Kish South Kaveh Steel had some 30,000 tons of 130 mm and 150 mm billet to be shipped in April. The tender was expected to be finalized in early March, but later the date was moved to March 10.
“Bids were sent to SKS at $395/t but the company did not accept this offer,” a market participant said.
The mill was not reported to conclude any deals over two weeks, counting on higher bids in the near future.