Turkish mini-mills have lowered their domestic billet prices to encourage local consumers to buy.
Demand for billet in the domestic market remains lacklustre due to a slowdown in demand for the finished product, rebar.
As a result, billet producers have cut prices this week to $625-635 exw for May production and delivery, compared with $630-640 exw last week, according to Turkish market participants.
“This week has been very quiet, due to the national holiday in Turkey at the start of the week. Buying activity has been scarce and sales have been few and far between,” a trader in Istanbul said.
“People just buy small parcels of a few thousand tonnes on a hand-to-mouth basis,” he added.
Over the past couple of months, demand for billet in the domestic market has been vibrant as re-rollers restocked inventories from Turkish suppliers, in time for the start of the country’s construction season, which runs from April to November.
“There hasn’t been much buying activity this week. It’s been very quiet. Most re-rollers have enough billet stocks to last them for several weeks and they’re not in a hurry to buy, as demand for rebar has softened,” a second trader in Istanbul said.
Uncertainty about the direction of ferrous scrap prices has caused nervousness in the Turkish billet market.
HMS 1&2 (80:20) from US suppliers sold this week at $450 per tonne cfr Turkey, a level unchanged since last week.
Shredded sold to Turkey at $455 this week, also unchanged since last week.