Import prices for hot rolled coil (HRC) into the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations have narrowed this week for May production and delivery.
Small parcels of HRC have been changing hands at $670-680 per tonne cfr Persian Gulf, compared with $650-680 cfr last week.
Some market sources have reported offers as high as $700 cfr for May shipment.
The main suppliers of HRC to the GCC have been Russia, China, India, Korea and Japan, although mills have struggled to get orders from consumers due to lacklustre demand.
“There is no demand; there is no money. Stocks are high and people are finding it hard to sell,” a trader in Dubai said.
High stock levels have slowed HRC import sales for May rolling as most consumers have been trying to use up existing stocks before returning to the market to replenish their inventories.
“Chinese, Indian and Russian mills such as Severstal and MMK have been offering at $680-700 cfr for May production and end-of-May shipment,” a source from a pipe producer said.
“It takes time for the intended transportation to get to the port in Russia. The lead time for HRC imports is six to eight weeks,” he added.