The Vietnamese import market for hot rolled coil is returning slowly, Kallanish notes. But end-users are largely still bidding below firm Chinese offers.

Offers for Chinese-origin 3mm base thickness Q195 and 3-12mm thickness Q235 HRC are prevailing at $528-530/t cfr Vietnam and $535-538/t cfr Vietnam respectively. Compared to a week ago, offers for Q195 have narrowed from $530-535/t cfr and for Q235, from $535-540/t cfr.

Most bids are at $525/t cfr for Q195 HRC, a Hanoi trader says. But he heard several Q195 HRC deals on 2 November took place at $526-528/t cfr Vietnam. "Trades are not big but they are better now," he says. Another Hanoi trader says that he hears bids for Q235 HRC at $527-528/t cfr, but he understands that there are no sellers at this level. "There are some small bookings for Q195 and Q235. But prices increased sharply [from two weeks ago] so many people still want to wait-and-see," a Ho Chi Minh City trader says.

A Chinese trader hears that a Vietnamese stockist booked around 60,000-90,000t of wholly 2mm thickness Chinese origin SAE 1006 HRC at $560/t cfr during the week of 27 October.

Local rerollers would prefer to book HRC from local mills, Formosa Ha Tinh and Hoa Phat Dung Quat, at $570/t cfr (the discounted price for large tonnages) so that they can produce coated steel for export to countries which have imposed trade barriers on Chinese-substrate coated steel exports. “The local Vietnamese producers do not sell to the stockist,” the first Hanoi trader notes. However, $560/t cfr is a “good price” for 2mm strip for the buyer, he adds.

Other offers for 2mm and up thickness Chinese SAE 1006 HRC are currently prevailing at $555-560/t cfr. Kallanish assessed SAE grade 2-2.7mm thickness HRC at $555-560/t cfr Vietnam, down $2.5 on-week.