Chinese wire rod continues to be ordered in the Philippines during the past week, Kallanish notes. Prices softened slightly from last week on factors including the weakness of the Chinese yuan.

Several small cargoes of 500-1,000 tonnes of Chinese-origin 6.5mm wire rod for December shipment were ordered at around $570/tonne cfr Manila this week. The concluded price is plus or minus a few dollars depending on the timing of the booking, a Manila trader says. The price range was $570-580/t cfr last week and the week before, he adds. The depreciating yuan against the dollar could be a factor for the price softening.

The bookings are not from the largest Chinese mills, another Manila trader says. The sellers are traders taking positions, he adds. The lower-than-expected booking prices have perplexed market participants. Traders think the sellers of these low-priced materials are possibly declaring the wire rod as alloy steel in order to enjoy a 9% rebate instead of paying the full 13% VAT.

Meanwhile, offers for blast furnace wire rod from Indonesia and Malaysia are prevailing at $610-620/t cfr Manila. But these are not fetching any buying interest whatsoever, the first Manila trader says. Kallanish assessed SAE 1008 6.5mm diameter wire rod on Thursday at $570-575/t cfr Manila, down $7.5 on week.

In Thailand, offers for regional blast furnace wire rod are prevailing at $600-610/t cif levels. But Thai importers are targeting booking at only $570/t cif, a Thai trader says.