Iranian export billet and slab prices have begun to recover in the second half of May, supported by demand from customers in Asia, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday, May 20.
At least three cargoes of Iranian billet, totalling up to 100,000 tonnes and scheduled for shipment in July-early August, were sold at $348-350 per tonne fob this week to China and Southeast Asia, they said.
Seven days ago, a cargo was thought to have been sold to China at $335-340 per tonne fob.
Then at the end of the week, billet from Iran was sold into Southeast Asia at $340 per tonne fob, sources said.
Following the uptick in sales prices, steel mills increased their target price to $355 per tonne fob southern Iranian ports, they added.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel billet, export, fob ports in Iran, was $340-350 per tonne on May 20, up from $335-340 per tonne fob.
In the slab market, there has also been a sizeable uptick in prices, with one of Iran’s major slab exporters selling 30,000 tonnes of the slab at $339 per tonne fob, compared with $335 per tonne fob targeted earlier in May.
Last week, bids for slab did not exceed $325 per tonne fob southern Iranian ports.
A trading source said that another large Iranian slab producer expected to achieve sales at $335-340 per tonne fob, but added that no bookings had been confirmed so far this week.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel slab, export, fob ports in Iran, was $335-340 per tonne on May 20, up from $325-335 per tonne fob on May 13.