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October, 20th 2021

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SEP 17
10:58

Vietnam HRC buyers return on improved market confidence

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Vietnam’s hot rolled coil buyers have returned after Covid-19 lockdowns previously muted demand, Kallanish understands. A domestic mill is heard to have sold out all its November HRC allocations within days of releasing its new offers.

Hoa Phat has sold out for November shipments without offering further discounts. The mill announced on 13 September its new offers for non-skin passed SAE 1006 HRC at $900/tonne cif Haiphong and $905/t cif Ho Chi Minh City.

Traders had earlier anticipated the mill would cut its offer prices to under $900/t because market sentiment was weak amid a strict Covid-19 lockdown which had dragged on. "People expect the government will be able to handle Covid-19 by October," a source close to Hoa Phat says. The mill finalised all its allocation for November shipment on 17 September, he says.

A large tonnage of SAE 1006 2mm and up thickness Russian HRC for December shipment was ordered on Friday at $870/t cfr Vietnam. The HRC would be used mostly for pipemaking applications. On 13 September, 60,000 tonnes of SAE 1006 2mm and up Indian HRC for November shipment was booked at $890/t cfr. The mill has since sold out allocations for that month.

“Buyers have returned because they think the market has touched the bottom,” a Vietnamese trader says. The Vietnamese government has announced it will consider providing financial relief to Vietnamese companies in the form of tax cuts and also plans to boost infrastructure spending, he says.

There are offers for SAE 1006 HRC from two Indian mills prevailing at $880-890/t cfr Vietnam but these would be suited more for pipemaking applications. Offers from two other Indian mills are now at $900/t cfr and $930/t cfr.

“It is still too early to conclude that the market has recovered but it is encouraging to see some stability,” a regional trader says. Buying activity has been low amid Covid-19 curbs in recent weeks but, with government easing of lockdowns anticipated, business confidence levels are slowly improving, he says. He thinks the market situation will be clearer in the next two weeks. Vietnamese construction activity typically kicks in after September when the rainy season ends.

Kallanish raised its SAE 2-2.7mm thickness HRC assessment to $880-890/t cfr Ho Chi Minh City, up $10 on week.

Anna Low Singapore