Vietnam imported 500,396mt of ferrous scrap in March 2020, up by 38.64pc from 360,928mt in the same month a year ago and dropped by 8.7pc from 545,933mt in the prior month, according to the Vietnam Customs data. The rise in imports was driven by healthy finished steel demand in the domestic markets amid ongoing infrastructure developments within the country.
In March, ferrous scrap imports from Japan surged by 71.9pc to 312,609mt from 181,853mt in March 2019 but dropped by 12pc from 354,406mt in the prior month. Japanese yards gave competitive offers to Vietnamese buyers due to weak demand from South Korea, their another export market. Domestic demand for scrap in Japan also was low.
In the first week of March, mill based in the northern region of Vietnam booked 5,000mt small bulk cargo with Japanese #2 HMS at $245/mt (JPY26,192/mt) cfr Vietnam. Offers for the same grade were at JPY23,500-24,000/mt fob Japan, $248-250/mt cfr northern Vietnam and $255-260/mt cfr southern Vietnam, while HS scrap equivalent to P&S was offered at $272-275/mt cfr Vietnam to a southern mill. Japanese scrap yards tried to raise the bulk cargo offers for Vietnamese buyers but failed to find takers.
In the second week, offers for HMS 1&2 (80:20) in bulk cargoes by US West Coast suppliers were at $270-275/ mt cfr Vietnam and that for shredded were at $290/mt cfr Vietnam. But there were no takers at those prices also.
By the end of the month, Japanese #2 HMS in bulk cargoes was offered at $245-250/mt cfr Vietnam, down $10/mt from $250-255/mt cfr Southern Vietnam and $255-260/ mt cfr North Vietnam. Trades for #2 HMS were reported at $240-242/ mt cfr Vietnam.
US was the second-largest scrap supplier to Vietnam in March. Vietnam imported 63,333mt of ferrous scrap, down by 2.75pc from 65,125mt in the prior year period, followed by other suppliers including Bangladesh (33,000mt), Hong Kong (23,794mt), Taiwan (19,940mt) and Singapore (18,834mt).
Healthy demand for finished steel drove scrap trades
Vietnam’s largest steel producer Hoa Phat Steel produced a record 351,000mt of construction steel in March 2020, up by 42.2pc from the prior year, as per a report communicated to Davis Index. Hoa Phat supplied 486,000mt of finished steel and billet to the domestic and export markets in March. The company’s domestic sales volume increased by almost 2.5 times from the prior year March. Sales in the Southern region increased by 89.7pc to 70,000mt, the highest share of domestic sales, followed by 23.2pc rise in the Central region and 14.7pc rise in the North region.