Both Asian hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil prices fell May 10 on the back of a continued drop in offer levels, keeping buyers away, market sources said.
S&P Global Commodity Insights' Platts assessed SAE1006 HRC at $821/mt FOB China, down $15/mt from May 9. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was assessed at $815/mt, down $15/mt over the same period.
Buying interest remained weak as prices continued a downtrend. Offers for 50% 2mm Chinese origin coils were heard being offered at $830/mt CFR Vietnam for June shipment. “Buyers will wait, need to see how the market price will be in the next few days,” a Vietnam-based trader said.
Market participants also noted increased interest from Indian mills toward the Southeast Asia market as import interest from the EU waned. South Korea was also heard to be more active in the HRC export market as domestic automotive production slowed.
"Seems no official offer from Indian mills, but some traders offer to Vietnam with Indian as an option. Heard EU has slowed down, so Indian mills maybe back to Vietnam," a Vietnam trader source said.
"I heard that POSCO is willing to offer HRC now since automotive production in [South] Korea is being lowered due to lack of semiconductors. Seems that the demand for GI and GL in [South] Korea is also quite low," an Indonesia-based trader said.
Separately, SS400 HRC 3 mm thick was assessed at $775/mt FOB China, down $15/mt from May 9. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was assessed down $16/mt over the same period at $753/mt.
Domestic prices extended their losses, and although Chinese mill offers remained scarce, expectations of a steeper price fall across mills were heard. In Vietnam, offers were abundant and lowered on the day to $755-$760/mt CFR Vietnam for June to early July shipments.
“Offer levels from Chinese mills are going to fall, I feel possibly to $775-$780/mt [FOB China] range,” a Shanghai-based trader said.
In Shanghai, the spot price of Q235 5.5 mm HRC was assessed at Yuan 4,750/mt ($707.54/mt) ex-stock, including value-added tax, down Yuan 70/mt from May 9. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most actively traded October contract closed at Yuan 4,698/mt, down Yuan 50/mt, or 1.1%, over the same period. Domestic trading activity picked up following weakened prices.