H-Beam rises for fourth straight month, but gains slow as buying weakens

Wide-flange H-beam import prices into Southeast Asia rose for the fourth straight month Feb. 28, but the gains weakened compared with a month earlier due to a sluggish buyer’s market.

Platt’s assessment of S275JR H-beam rose $9/mt month on month to $789/mt CFR Malaysia Feb. 28, with an offer from Thailand rising $10-$15/mt, while buyers’ acceptable level remained below $790/mt CFR.

South Korean H-beam from Hyundai was heard offered at $910/mt CFR Singapore, while Thailand’s SYS was heard to have offered at $810-$815/mt CFR Singapore and $790-$800/mt CFR Malaysia.

Chinese H-beam was heard offered at $720-$725/mt CFR Manila for ASTM A36 grade H-beam.

“Prices keep on fluctuating. There was a time in February when Chinese offers breached $740/mt CFR Manila. Demand is not too good, stable. Customers are only buying for replenishment and not stocking up too much,” said a Philippine trader.

A Malaysian importer was bearish about prices. “The Malaysian market is still struggling. We just ended the Lunar New Year, but there is another round of holidays and Ramadan fasting, so demand will be flat for two months of April and May,” the source said, adding that “buyers can only accept below $790/mt CFR Malaysia.”

— Edward Low