China keeps raising billet imports on higher domestic quotes

Alan Yang

China keeps raising billet imports on higher domestic quotes

At least 110,000 t billet was imported in China recently after 60,000 t had been purchased from Indonesia. Stronger local market is encouraging traders to buy the semis for long positions in coming months.

A big lot of Russian billet (40,000 t) was purchased at around $400/t CFR in China for May shipment this week. It was $5/t lower than deal prices for Indonesian material booked last week. However, the semis from outside ASEAN countries are subject to 2% import duty in the country, which makes the price $3/t higher for buyers than that in previous contracts.

Another 40,000 t was booked by a Chinese trader in India recently at the same price, but for June shipment, a market source in China commented. There was information about one more deal for another 40,000 t of Indian material, but it was not confirmed at the time of publication.

In addition, a deal for 30,000 t was concluded with an Iranian supplier in China. ¡°The price was below $400/t CFR for sure, maybe up to $5/t lower,¡± a source told Metal Expert.

¡°Import price is acceptable for us now, so we buy,¡± a major Chinese trader told Metal Expert. Importers intend to sell these quantities in the local market in late May ¨C June, because they believe that with the gradually reviving industrial activity, domestic quotes will be on the rise in the near future. Purchases for long positions are also possible inside the country, but ¡°domestic quotes are slightly higher at the moment,¡± the same trader added.

Local billet prices in Jiangsu province are at RMB 3,260-3,280/t ex-warehouse on Thursday, according to market insiders. The level was $3,200-3,250/t on last Friday, when information about deals for Dexin Steel¡¯s billet came from China.