Offer prices for imported billet from the Black Sea region are increasing month-on-month for the Mediterranean area by $20/tonne. This is due to a surge in demand especially from Northern African countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, Kallanish notes.  

Italian buyers however have not purchased imported material in June. This due to the current price uncertainty in the domestic steel market and the fact that that some longs producers are now manufacturing billets and selling them to smaller long products’ makers. Meanwhile domestic billet purchased by smaller re-rollers have lost €10/t ($11.8/t) compared to last month and are now at €430/t ex-works on average.

Billet buying in the wider Mediterranean region are continuing however and Black sea billet sales are being supported by a strong demand. While prices were seen to be on the verge of weakening at the end of May, an unexpected rebound is happening. Material from the Black Sea is now offered at $510-520/t fob, up from the latest lowest transaction of $495/t fob of the end of May, sources say.

Some producers are also seeing strong demand from the Gulf region and the Middle East in general, Kallanish hears. While Italian long producers are not purchasing imported billet, they are offering material to Northern Africa at $510-515/t fob, sources suggest.