Billet prices in the United Arab Emirates and Oman are trending upwards on the back of rebar price hikes in the respective markets, driven by growth in rebar demand in the UAE, notes Kallanish.

This week, UAE rebar re-rollers are receiving offers for rebar grade (3sp) billet at $550-555/tonne delivered to their yard from Omani electric arc furnace-route producers and the local induction furnace-route mill for immediate delivery. Ex-Iran material is at $530-535/t landed to the buyer's yard for March delivery. Major Omani billet suppliers are sold out until 10 February.

In UAE, scrap is holding steady at AED 1,225-1,250/t ($334-340) for HMS 80:20, with fabrication at AED 1,310-1,325/t and HMS sheared at AED 1,300-1,325/t delivered to buyers' yards. Exports to Bangladesh and Pakistan continue in containers directly from the port of Jebel Ali, whereas India's buying appetite has faded.

"Robust rebar demand and relatively good margins in the UAE encourage us to increase our billet price tags. Next week, we expect the North American market to come into play as we hope to see positive signs for rebar demand. We expect semi-finished product prices in the GCC to remain stable until the Chinese New Year," comments a senior integrated mill official.