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China’s billet stable on lower production

Chinese billet export prices have not changed over the week. Demand has remained weak, but production cuts have
supported the market quotes.
Currently Chinese billet (3 sp or Q235, 150 mm) is offered at around $405‑415/t FOB, the same as late last week.
Demand from abroad is still sluggish. Most importers in SE Asia continue to find semis from other countries, but it is
more difficult now, insiders report. “Now most offers in Thailand and Indonesia from different countries are almost the
same,” an international trader told Metal Expert.
Despite almost no export sales, FOB quotes have been stable, as local prices have increased over the period under
review. Tangshan billet has risen by RMB 70/t ($10/t) on production cuts in the region. Starting from January 2 many
rolling and sintering facilities were ordered to be stopped to reduce air pollution in the main steelmaking hub of the
country. Utilization rates of blast furnaces and converters have been also lowered, market insiders told Metal Expert.
However, strong price increase is unlikely in the near future, as local demand has not improved. “Prices should be
stable during this month. We will see some changes only after Chinese New Year,” a Hong Kong based trader said.

Source: metalexpert

(World Steel News, Issue 5 (1765), Monday, January 9, 2017)