Vietnam’s Formosa Ha Tinh Steel (FHS) lowered its finished steel sales prices for April shipments by $40/mt amid the COVID-19 pandemic impacting global steel markets, Davis Index learned from a company official.
For domestic and overseas buyers, new prices for skin pass rerolling SAE1006 hot-rolled coil (HRC) will be $480/mt on cif basis, down from $520/mt cif in March.
Prices for HRB without skin pass will be $475/mt cif and SPHT3, S235JR, SG255 and SS490 HRC will be priced at $500/mt cif for April shipments, down from $540/mt for the March shipments. The company will offer its base SS400-grade pipe making HRC at $470/mt, down from $510/mt in the prior month.
Wire rod prices for Grade-2 mesh mild steel will be $495/mt cif, down by $7/mt from the prior prices at $502/mt cif. Mesh quality wire rod prices have been reduced to $504/mt cif from $511/mt cif and general cold work quality wire to $514/mt cif from $521/mt cif.
Southeast Asian HRC prices dropped by around $50-55/mt from $515-520/mt cfr Vietnam in early February to $460-465/mt cfr Vietnam late last week.
Though the number of new cases of the COVID-19 in China is on a decline, the outbreak has spread to Southeast Asian countries forcing many mills to limit production due to lack of consumer demand in domestic markets. Some steel companies in Vietnam have announced office closures for 14 days.
On the other hand, Chinese mills are expected to resume sales at pre-COVID-19 levels in the near term. In March, finished steel buyers stayed away from buying waiting for prices to drop for April shipments as piling steel inventories with Chinese makers are expected to pressure prices.
Renewed demand for billet import in China
Last week, Chinese end-users, through a Chinese trader, ordered 20,000mt of blast furnace billets from an Indonesian steel mill at $405-410/mt cfr China, equivalent to $380-385/mt fob. The April shipment cargo deal price was lower than expected, as Asian mills were aiming to export billets at $400-410/mt fob. Under the ASEAN-China free trade agreement, Indonesian billet would be tax-exempt.