Chinese mills are trying to increase hot rolled coil prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council market. Buyers nevertheless prefer Indian material in terms of prices and shorter lead times. South Korean mills are eyeing the GCC market, and Hyundai Steel representatives plan to visit the region in the coming days, Kallanish learns.

Last week, numerous deals were concluded by an Indian mill for pipe- and tube-making grades at an average price of $640/tonne cfr United Arab Emirates.

This week, Indian mills' 2mm+ thickness SPHT-2 and SS400 grade boron-added HRC offers are heard at $630-640/t, while SAE 1006 re-rolling grade is at $650-660/t cfr GCC for September shipment. Chinese 2mm+ SS400 and SAE 1006 grade quotes are meanwhile at $650-660/t cfr for end-September shipment/late-October delivery.

On the other hand, the South Korean mill's SAE 1006 grade 2mm+ offer is at $670/t, with a margin of compromise for firm bids for September shipment. All offers are cfr GCC ports basis.

In UAE, a buyer has meanwhile received an offer for a minimum 2,000t volume of 0.34-0.97mm SPCC/1B grade ex-China cold rolled full hard (CRFH) at $700/t cfr UAE for September shipment. Last week, the buyer booked ex-China 2mm+ DX51D grade galvanised coil for a 500t parcel at $810/t cfr Jebel Ali for September shipment. Indian and South Korean mills offered the same material for September shipment at $950/t cfr Jebel Ali.

The Saudi Arabian market is dull and prices are unchanged from last week. Chinese mills’ efforts to raise prices were in vain. Buyers preferred Egyptian material as it is exempt from import duties in Saudi Arabia.

1.2mm SPHT-1 HRC offers for September shipment from Chinese and Egyptian mills are heard at $730/t and $735/t cfr Jeddah, respectively. Chinese offers to the Saudi east coast are at $710/t cfr Dammam.

Saudi Arabia's sole HRC producer's October-rolling, 3mm thick base grade SPHT-1 HRC offer is heard at $770/t delivered to buyer's yard.