EghtesadOnline: Iranian export slab prices fell slightly in the week ended May 30, with customers achieving lower prices in recent bookings.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for Iranian slab exports dropped by $5 per ton week-on-week on May 30 to $505-510 per ton FOB.
A cargo of Iranian slab for shipment in July was reported to have been booked by customers in Southeast Asia within that price range.
Recent export slab offers from Iranian mills were heard at $510 per ton FOB, according to Financial Tribune.
But customers from Southeast Asia have voiced concerns about the future of semi-finished steel imports from Iran, in view of the expectation of renewed United States trading sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.
The US withdrew from an international deal on Iran’s nuclear power industry on May 8 and said that it would reimpose its trading sanctions against the country within 90 days.
Customers in Southeast Asia expressed their willingness to continue to trade with the country, considering that Iranian prices are traditionally $10-20 per ton lower than for materials of other origins.
“We’ve been buying Iranian material using currencies other than the US dollar and we do not have any connections with the US,” a source in Indonesia said, noting that he plans to continue to buy from Iran.
Another source noted, however, that it is not banking, but shipping issues that may become a hurdle to trade with Iran since large global shipping companies have already started to fold operations in the country. The US provided shipping companies 120 days to finalize operations with Iran.
“I do not think any international shipping company will be able to conduct business with Iran if sanctions are implemented to their full extent,” Soren Skou, the chief executive of world’s largest shipping company, Maersk, was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
For steel billet, Metal Bulletin’s assessment of export prices for Iranian product narrowed by $5 per ton on the upper end on the week, to $500-510 per ton FOB.
The few offers heard from Iranian mills this week for July-shipment billet fell in the range of $510-515 per ton FOB. But no bookings were heard within market participants’ estimate of workable prices at the lower range of $500-505 per ton FOB.