US Imported Rebar Pricing Remains Stable Despite Light Buying

18 August 2016

US imported rebar prices continue to hold steady this week as Turkish mills stand firm on pricing and buyers wait on the sidelines, sources said Wednesday.

"It's a wait and see game," said one US distributor. "People are reluctant to buy and the foreign mills are holding off on reducing prices."

Turkey remains the largest player in the US import market, with current offers into the US Gulf around $405-$415/mt CFR ($372-$381/st CIF) depending on the port of delivery, said a US trader. But with 60-day lead times out of Turkey, it pushes delivery into the fourth quarter.

"With year-end inventory taxes in Houston, nobody wants to be caught with a bunch of material on hand," the trader said. "A lot of companies are looking to get their financials in line heading into year-end, and that includes inventory."

Higher cost material that was ordered during peak pricing of around $450-$500/mt CFR ($413-$459/st CIF), which is now arriving into the Gulf, is also slowing buying, the distributor said.

"The higher cost inventory needs to be absorbed through the system," he said.

Prices are expected to weaken further into the fourth quarter, which is typically slower seasonally as colder weather arrives in the US, the trader said.

"The expensive material gives people even more pause," he said. "You have to be able to move when you just got in, and if you can't, there's no reason to buy more."

Offers to the US out of Taiwan for Houston delivery are slightly cheaper than current Turkish offers, but not enough to offset the risk of longer lead times, the distributor said. He said sales could potentially conclude at $400/mt CFR ($367/st CIF), but lead times are more than 90 days.

"It's just not worth the risk for Gulf business," he said.

S&P Global Platts on Wednesday maintained its daily US imported rebar assessment at $372-$377/st CIF Houston.


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