Supply Chain Council of European Union |

CIS slab prices notch up with new sales

Slab export trade from the Black Sea has re-activated this week, as several lots of CIS-origin material found their way to global buyers. Sales were conducted at prices flat or slightly higher on-week, despite some higher-paying buyers being absent from the market, Kallanish learns from market participants.

A major Russian merchant slab supplier was back in the market with large volumes of February-cast material. It sold to several Latin American buyers at prices netting back to around $420-425/tonne fob Black Sea. The supplier is slowly recovering its traditional slab export availability, but these sales may have closed its February-casting books.

A large volume of Ukrainian slab was booked into Italy at around $440-445/t cfr, netting back to $417-423/t fob Black Sea, Kallanish estimates, taking into account current freight rates. The supplier’s February slab casting schedule is understood to be nearing fulfilment.

Turkey – a major slab importer in the last three months – is still not in the market, in anticipation of lower offers. The most-recent bookings around five weeks ago reached $420/t cfr Turkey, or $405/t fob Black Sea, but weakening scrap prices are now keeping re-rollers at bay. Incoming slab import tonnages are meanwhile sufficient for Turkish mills to extend their wait, sources explain.

The Southeast Asian market is understandably quiet as participants celebrate the Lunar New Year, but some buyers are still looking for material, according to sources. Sellers claim it is possible to sell at around $450-455/t cfr, as alternative supply is not readily available or competitively priced.

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