Rod prices in Med/Black Sea slide under pressure from India, China

Wire rod mesh quality prices in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region fell on the back of lower offers from India and China and the wider downtrend in the long products in the global markets, sources said.

According to a European mill source, buyers in Europe imported large volumes of Indian wire rod recently. The last booking price he was aware of was Eur870-875/mt CIF Netherlands for Indian-origin wire rod.

The mill source added that Indian wire rod imports were not included in the EU safeguard tariff-free quota system, but considering the rapid growth in the imported volumes, this may change if India’s import exceeded 3% of the total.

A trader reported a recent offer for Indian wire rod at Eur880/mt ($927/mt) CFR Constanta. Another trading source cited Indian offers at $940/mt CFR Antwerp. This likely netted back to $840-$860/mt FOB India, the trader added. Another trader said that $840-$850/mt FOB was roughly what sellers quoted for Indian wire rod.

Wire rod from China was offered at $800/mt FOB, a trading source said. He believed this level was competitive in certain markets, including Africa and Latin America. The last indications for Russian wire rod were already below $800/mt FOB Black Sea.

A mill source put the workable range at $780-$820/mt FOB Black Sea but also heard a rumor that prices from a Russian supplier tainted by the European sanctions were already $770/mt FOB. A European source said he had heard of a Russian wire rod sale to Serbia recently.

“Russia is offering a lot but selling little,” a market observer said. According to a trader, Russian wire rod suppliers were actively looking for orders in Latin America, where they were facing strong competition from China.

Turkish wire rod offers were largely unchanged from last week. However, some traders said that a drop was inevitable as the target level of $900/mt FOB Turkey had no chance to stick against much lower offers from India and China.

“Buyers are aiming $850/mt FOB Turkey but they know they can’t get it so they are waiting,” a trader said. He added that it was easy to find cheaper material. An even higher offer was heard from Egypt, at $920/mt FOB, a trader said.

In some cases, Turkish mills were reluctant to give offers but were inviting bids and were flexible on a price against a firm bid, one source said.

Some market players, particularly in the EU, were waiting for wire rod offers from Ukraine as a couple of Ukrainian mills were looking to resume inland exports.

Market players reported no offers this week. A European source said that most wire rod would probably go to Romania or Poland, two neighboring countries. Seaborne export from the Black Sea coast is unlikely to be resumed, as Ukrainian ports were reported to be in a war zone.

— Wojtek Laskowski