Import markets in ASEAN for rebar and wire rod remain quiet, Kallanish notes. Volatility in Chinese steel futures together with continued weak steel demand are preventing buyers from returning. But certain suppliers are pushing for higher export prices.

A Malaysian mill is offering theoretical-weight rebar unchanged from last week at $560/tonne delivered by truck to Singapore. This is equivalent to around $550/t cfr Singapore. 

A leading Chinese mill lowered its export price to $540/t fob China on Wednesday, down $10/t from last week. The drop in Chinese export prices is linked to the combined factors of weakness in the yuan and strengthening of the dollar against Asian currencies, a Singapore trader says. The heatwave in China is expected to reduce construction activity and slow down domestic rebar demand, he adds.

However, traders also report that mills are trying to push up prices. The Malaysian mill could be planning to increase its export prices on the basis of the uptrend in Chinese steel futures. “They track and price [steel exports] against the futures,” a second Singapore trader says. Middle Eastern rebar offers are prevailing at $570-575/t cfr Singapore, after transacting at $560/t cfr two weeks ago.

They [Middle Eastern suppliers] can afford to raise prices after selling several bulk cargoes to Singapore and Hong Kong last month, the second trader says. Kallanish maintained BS4449 500B 10-40mm diameter rebar at $550-555/t cfr Singapore theoretical weight.

A leading Singapore stockist is heard to have booked a forward shipment rebar cargo for October 2023-January 2024 delivery at $535/t cfr Singapore.

Meanwhile, offers for residual amounts of Chinese-origin 6.5mm diameter wire rod for July shipment are about the same as last week at $525-530/t cfr Manila. “I’m getting some inquiries, so some buyers might be ready to buy,” a Manila trader says. A Singapore trader reports receiving an offer for 6.5mm up diameter SAE 1008/Q195 wire rod at around $510/t fob China from unspecified Chinese mills, for shipment by 30 July. That would be equivalent to around $525-530/t cfr Manila.

Kallanish assessed SAE 1008 6.5mm diameter wire rod at $530-535/t cfr Manila, down $5 on-week.