Saudi Arabian mills have lowered their rebar quotes to SAR 2,900/tonne ($773) delivered and below for firm bids, except Hadeed. The country’s largest steelmaker has kept quotes at the June-delivery level of SAR 3,100/t for 12-14mm diameter and SAR 3,000/t for 16mm+, both delivered, Kallanish notes. 

Saudi tier-2 and tier-3 mills' prices are at SAR 2,850-2,900/t and SAR 2,700-2,800/t delivered within the country, respectively.

In the retail market, however, there is a wide range of prices available. Some stockists and traders are offering rebar at lower than their June purchasing prices. They are aiming to compensate for their losses and make some profit through the quarter-end and year-end rebates, which they receive by hitting pre-agreed quotas. The 12-14mm diameter rebar shortage is still ongoing in the market.

"Now, it is buyers' time. Business is very quiet, and all mills, except Hadeed, are eager to sell significant tonnages for enquiries below SAR 2,900/t, regardless of their price announcement,” explains a senior mill official. "Contractors who made rebar cost analyses at lower quotes expect a price decline. That's why they are withholding their enquiries for the longest [time] possible and even splitting their weekly shipments into three rather than buying at once, hoping to benefit from any price fall."

Next week, Saudi market maker Hadeed is expected to announce its July-rolling rebar and wire rod prices, with all sector participants expecting a decline.

Despite increasing iron ore pellet premiums, Hadeed’s rebar quote could drop SAR 200/t on-month due to the Hajj season and Eid Al Adha holiday effect on July rebar demand, and shrinking scrap and billet prices in the country.