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Kallanish Kallanish

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April, 6th 2020

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MAR 20
16:59

Turkish HRC buyers retreat as sentiment worsens

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Turkish hot rolled coil buyers have retreated from the market as trade slows amid increasing uncertainty over the coronavirus spread and restrictive measures taken by governments.

"The market is at a standstill here; virus and the oil price plunge are taking their toll," one trader tells Kallanish.

Low volumes of April-produced galvanised and cold rolled coil by Turkish processors both at home and in export markets have forced buyers to withdraw from booking further May HRC deliveries. At least two galvanised steel producers have cancelled their Chinese cold rolled full hard orders, booked at around $510-520/tonne cfr, last week. Instead of placing new orders, several processors asked Turkish mills to deliver April orders earlier, one mill says. 

Although imported HRC offers are still much lower than domestic material, buyers' enquiries for both stalled towards the end of the week. One re-roller was still being offered Turkish May-production HRC at $500/t ex-works, for a small lot, while another Turkish mill sold one, larger sized lot at $480/t ex-works. Both these price levels remained unchanged on a week prior, despite a tangible decline in sentiment globally. 

One Turkish mill, admitting export sales have disappeared completely, would at this juncture prefer to extend its maintenance than to sell at lower prices to domestic buyers. It appears most Turkish producers still have plenty of May-production material to sell, and with the export market not functioning, they are likely to concede price reductions further down the line. It may be a few weeks before this happens, as mills want to make sure they do not sell at unnecessarily low prices, should the market rebound in April, one source explains.

CIS offers of HRC were tabled at around $470/t cfr last week, but failed to attract buyers, largely due to uncertainty and fast-deteriorating sentiment. Some sales are expected to be made before April, sources reckon, as CIS availability grows and delivery times shorten.