EghtesadOnline: Buying activity in the Iranian flat steel import market slowed over the past week, with suppliers unwilling to pass on price rises to customers, sources told Metal Bulletin on Wednesday.
“I bought cold-rolled coil from [Russian steelmaker] MMK a couple of weeks ago at a very attractive price, since their sales were not very good at that time,” one trader said. “Now they are asking [for] higher prices [that] are not affordable for me.”
Iranian customers are not looking to replenish stocks ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on May 27.
Current CRC offers from the Commonwealth of Independent States to Iran are coming in at $505-515 per ton CFR, sources said.
According to Financial Tribune, MMK was heard offering its material at €440 ($485) per ton FOB Astrakhan, with the estimated cost of freight to the northern Iranian port of Anzali about $20 per ton.
Kazakhstan’s ArcelorMittal Temirtau was offering CRC at $500-505 per ton FOB Aktau.
The estimated cost of freight from there to Anzali would be $8-15 per ton, depending on the tonnage.
One customer placed a bid for 2,000 tons of CRC at $480 per ton FOB Aktau, and a trader told Metal Bulletin that he thought ArcelorMittal could probably drop its price to $490 per ton FOB.
However, ArcelorMittal rejected the CRC bid and was sticking to its offered prices.
A 4,000 ton-cargo was heard booked by another trader at $502 per ton FOB, sources told Metal Bulletin.
Metal Bulletin’s price assessment for CRC imports in Iran rose to $503-510 per ton CFR Iranian ports on Wednesday, up from $470-492 per ton CFR last week.
MMK was offering hot-rolled coil at €400 ($441) per ton FOB Astrakhan, with the estimated cost of freight to Anzali about $20 per ton.
Offers from ArcelorMittal Temirtau were heard at $415-430 per ton FOB Aktau, sources said, with freight costs of $8-15 per ton to Anzali, depending on the tonnage.
However, some sources noted that the price at the lower end of the range was more a customer desire than a real offer.
No new bookings have been heard in the market over the past week.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly assessment of import prices for 2-mm HRC in Iran increased to $430-460 per ton CFR Iranian ports on May 17, up from $428-450 per ton CFR last week.