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Kallanish Kallanish

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December, 3rd 2021

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NOV 18
14:18

Egypt opens billet import floodgates following safeguard removal

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At the start of the week, Egyptian buyers booked 20,000-30,000 tonnes of CIS-origin billet at $670-675/tonne cfr Damietta, while Gulf Cooperation Council billet also found buyers in the country. This was expected following Egypt’s revoking on Sunday of safeguard measures on billet and rebar, which immediately prompted billet buyers to enquire on global markets.

The GCC billet was booked for 70,000-90,000t at $660-670/t cfr Egypt, with prices differing based on sizes and specifications. According to some sources, the GCC-origin billet is produced in Iran. Iran sold substantial quantities of billet in October mainly to East Asia at $630-640/t fob. However, when the Chinese market crashed, some billet deals were cancelled before product was dispatched and billet prices softened to $585-590/t fob Iran.

On Thursday, CIS-origin billet was reported booked for December delivery for 10,000 tonnes of 130mm 5sp grade at $685/t cfr Damietta and for 20,000t at the same price cfr Alexandria.

Moreover, an Indian mill concluded a tender to a trader selling 30,000t of 150mm billet to Egypt at $590/t fob India or $680/t cfr Egypt.

This indicates that prices of billet going into Egypt have, as expected, been pushed up by the lifting of the country’s safeguard restrictions, Kallanish notes.

In 2016 Egypt imported 3.75 million tonnes of billet, in 2017 it was 2.25mt, and 2018 it was 3.13mt. Safeguard measures were imposed in April 2019. That year saw billet imports of 2.45mt. These dropped in 2020 to 730,000t. Imports were less than 75,000t in January-September 2021.

The Egyptian government previously announced the development of 4,700 new villages and construction of ten new cities, which are expected to increase billet and rebar demand in the country starting from the new year.

Burak Odabasi Turkey