H-Beam index ends May on an almost 13-year high as prices surge

Wide-flanged H-beam import prices into Southeast Asia surged within May, as offer volumes were cited to have dwindled amid an upswing trend, market sources said.

S&P Global Platts assessed the end May price of wide-flanged S275JR H-beams up $110/mt month on month, at $950/mt CFR Southeast Asia May 31.

Buy-side sources were citing that since mid-May, offers were scant and only “given upon inquiry” as producers were thought to be in no hurry for sales amid surging trends.

“Suppliers are tight on offers this month, and this is also because the surging trend. What are being offered out previously were only valid for a few days, before a new and higher price came in,” a Singapore-based stockiest said. “But we’re not in the market for now and will wait and see as the prices might make a bearish turn, since Chinese steel prices, and regional scrap prices, have been falling.”

Thai-origin beams were heard most competitive toward the month’s end, at $1,000/mt CFR Singapore, while South Korean beams were offered at $1,070/mt CFR. This was up from levels of $840-$850/mt and $860-$890/mt from April, respectively.

“Some major players have not offered for two weeks now, maybe their sales have been too good for them in the local markets,” the source added.

The previous time the Platts index reached such highs were in 2008, when prices peaked at $1,340/mt CFR for July-end.

— Samuel Chin