Southeast Asian H-Beam February prices rise to 8-year high

February’s wide-flanged H-beam import prices into Southeast Asia gained for the fourth straight month, as sellers hiked offers later in the month amid surging raw material prices, sources said.

S&P Global Platts assessed the February price of wide-flanged S275JR H-beams at $750/mt CFR Southeast Asia, up $10/mt from the month prior.

A cargo of South Korean-origin H-beam was sold at $750/mt CFR Singapore early-February, up $10/mt from buying ideas the month prior, however with offers held back at the end of February as mills witnessed a surge in raw material costs.

“South Korea sold beams to us about three weeks ago but withdrew offers after scrap prices surged,” a Singapore-based stockist said. “Some mentioned that selling in their own domestic market is better and are aiming $790/mt now.”

H2 scrap FOB prices assessed Feb. 24 have surged Yen 6,800/mt ($64/mt) or 19% from its previous low in January, according to Platts data.

Offers for Thailand-origin H-beams, however, were heard edging up slightly on the month at $750/mt CFR Singapore end-February, from a $745-$750/mt range the month prior, with buyers citing similar tradable levels.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, construction activities were heard picking up since the Lunar New Year holidays, boosting sites’ demand for upstream construction steel.

“We are getting better sales from the end-users as construction in Singapore picks up,” the stockist said. “Prices in March too may remain supported but it also depends on how China’s steel market moves.”

H-beam prices to Southeast Asia last witnessed similar highs of $755/mt CFR February 2013, Platts data showed.

— Marcus Ong, Samuel Chin