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Kallanish Kallanish

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January, 23rd 2022

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DEC 03
12:12

Vietnamese HRC market struggles amid renewed Covid-19 fears

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Vietnamese buyers are shunning import offers of re-rolling hot rolled coil, Kallanish notes. They are staying away because of weak demand for coated steel as well as fears that a new Covid-19 surge will delay economic recovery.

Lower-priced offers in recent days have attracted muted buying interest. A leading Japanese Tier I mill’s SAE 1006 2mm HRC was offered on 1 December at $840/tonne cfr Vietnam. Traders did not hear of any takers. “Customers would prefer to book from [local mill] Formosa at $840/t, which has a shorter lead time,” a regional trader says.

On 2 December, there was an offer for January shipment of 2-2.75mm thickness SAE 1006 HRC from a popular Chinese mill at $810/t cfr Ho Chi Minh City. The day after, a South Korean trader made a firm offer of Russian-origin 2mm up thickness SAE 1006 HRC for March shipment at $760/t cfr.

In China, the domestic steel market rebounded last week. It will be hard to sell at the low price of $800-810/t cfr if the market keeps firming, a Chinese trader says. He notes the Vietnamese market is currently really weak and demand is low for SAE 1006 HRC. Kallanish lowered its SAE 2-2.7mm thickness HRC assessment to $780-800/t cfr Ho Chi Minh City, down $20/t on-week.

Earlier last week, some traders had heard there were bids for SAE 1006 HRC at $790/t cfr Vietnam. Chinese and Vietnamese traders say that bids for SAE1006 HRC have since evaporated. Buyers have stopped purchasing, a trader in Ho Chi Minh City observes.

The market downtrend is due to low demand for coated steel and the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. Also, Vietnam has yet to recover from the impact of the last Delta variant outbreak, the trader notes. Vietnamese authorities reported a daily record of 14,508 new Covid-19 cases on 1 December.

Anna Low Singapore