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December, 13th 2017

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OCT 10
11:10

Vietnamese buyers shun Chinese HRC amid sliding futures

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Vietnamese importers are resisting higher priced offers for Chinese hot rolled coil this week, Kallanish hears. Buyers hold bearish expectations because of the weakening perfomance of the Chinese steel futures market.

On Tuesday, several traders were offering 2-2.5mm thickness rerolling SAE 1006 grade HRC at $575/tonne cfr Ho Chi Minh City. These offers are for December shipments. Some traders in Vietnam say that the offers also included pipe-making grade HRC and that they were indicative offers from traders taking short positions. Some also say that a leading Chinese mill was offering same grade and thickness of HRC at $600/t cfr.

However, the Vietnamese importers are only bidding at $560/mt cfr which was the lowest booking level during the last week of September ahead of the Chinese week-long holiday.

The main reason for the unwillingness to pay higher prices is because of the weakening Chinese futures market since the start of this week. “Vietnam buyers just wait and see,” a Vietnamese trader says. “Futures prices fell sharply. This made the buyers worried,” he explains. But a Chinese trader says that the Vietnamese may not have any recourse but to pay up because “... there are not many sources.”

Vietnamese trading sources reported two SAE 1006 HRC deals from a certain Indian mill at end-September. One deal which involved three-month financing terms (payment by 90-day LC) closed at $571/t cfr. The other cargo, for LC at sight, closed at $560/t cfr Vietnam. These were both position cargoes for November shipments, Vietnamese sources say. However, with the latest antidumping ruling by the EU on HRC from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine, Indian mills could switch to exporting to the EU, Indian traders suggest. “The Vietnamese market will see less Indian HRC,’ the trader says.