Low demand threatens rise in Turkish rebar prices

The increase in Turkish mills’ rebar prices over the last ten days supported by higher scrap pricing and some Turkish mills’ stoppages seems to have eased recently amid slow demand, especially in export markets, amid ongoing uncertainties arising from COVID-19 outbreak.

After falling to a four-year low at $207/mt CFR on April 1, scrap prices showed a notable gain in the first ten days of April, as reported. S&P Global Platts assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $251/mt CFR last Thursday.

Turkey’s scrap suppliers were still pushing for higher prices Monday – to as much as $260/mt CFR – amid availability issues, trade sources said.

Some Turkish mill stoppages due to adverse market conditions also created supply issues in some regions of Turkey, as most construction sites were still operating in Turkey.

Low export demand and cash flow problems arising from exchange rate fluctuations have begun to limit trade activites in the Turkish rebar market, but mills have started the week generally with flat prices on a dollar basis.

The Turkish lira lost another roughly 1% in value against the US dollar Monday amid expanding COVID-19 outbreak and started to trade in the range of Lira 6.78-6.79/$1 at 5 pm in Turkey.

Major Turkish long steel producer Icdas, based in the Marmara region, has been offering lira-denominated 12-32 mm rebar at Lira 3,320/mt ex-works Biga, including 18% value-added tax (VAT) Monday, which equated to $414/mt ex-works, excluding VAT, relatively flat week on week.

Bastug Metalurji, based in the Osmaniye region of southern Turkey, which closed its order book last Wednesday, reopened it Monday and started to offer 12-32 mm rebar at Lira 3,320/mt ex-works, the company informed Platts.

The company’s 10 mm and 8 mm domestic rebar list prices were at Lira 3,350/mt and Lira 3,380/mt, respectively.

Stockists’ 12-32 mm rebar offer prices to the domestic market remained in the range of Lira 3,260-3,280/mt ex-stock Monday, roughly flat week on week.

— Cenk Can