The Vietnamese import market has been quiet as most suppliers of Chinese hot rolled coil took leave for their extended Labour Day holiday, Kallanish notes.

The few small traders and agents in Vietnam active on Thursday and Friday were “testing” the market before China’s reopening in order to gauge buyers' bids. One seller’s price idea for 2mm up thickness SAE 1006 HRC from China is at around $560/tonne cfr Vietnam, a Hanoi trader says. Some are also indicating 3-12mm Q235 grade HRC from China at $545/t cfr. But there are no firm offers in the market due to the holiday, he adds.

Some suppliers were inviting bids for position cargoes of around 500 tonnes of 3-12mm Q235 grade HRC from China at lower levels of $532/t cfr Vietnam. These contain specified quantities of strip thickness.

But a southern Vietnamese buyer says an expression of interest for 3-14mm thickness Q235 HRC for shipment by 10 July at $535/t cfr is for new-production material. “The buyer can order any tonnage,” he notes.

While there are no firm offers in the market, the suppliers created bearishness by testing out lower prices, another Vietnamese trader says. Kallanish assessed SAE grade 2-2.7mm thickness HRC at $550/t cfr Vietnam, unchanged on-week.

Meanwhile, many domestic buyers are believed to be waiting for China’s Monday reopening before they place HRC orders with local producer Hoa Phat. The steelmaker announced on 2 May that its non-skin passed SAE1006 or SS400 grade HRC for July-delivery was set at the equivalent of around $577/t cfr southern Vietnam, excluding VAT (see Kallanish passim). “But I think they will confirm soon because Hoa Phat’s prices are good enough,” the first Hanoi trader concludes.