NEW YORK Rebar buyers are ratcheting up their search for new overseas sources of the product, as some imports dwindle and time runs out before potential duties hit arrivals from the two largest providers to the United States: Turkey and Mexico.
Any Turkish shipments arriving in the United States in the second half of December or later could be slapped with countervailing duties, and any Turkish and Mexican material arriving in the first half of March could be hit with anti-dumping duties (amm.com, Oct. 30).
Rebar traders are turning to such countries as South Korea, Japan and Spain as likely new sources for rebar if duties are imposed.
Most importers said they have stopped ordering Turkish material, but one deal was reportedly reached about three weeks ago that would bring Turkish material into the Port of Houston at $521 per short ton ($575 per tonne), and into New Orleans at $526 per ton ($580 per tonne) in January.
"I dont know why (the trading company would) do something like that (buy that tonnage)," one trader source told AMM. "We wont take that risk. (Other trading companies) wont take that risk."
Offers from Turkey have come in at $549 to $558 per ton ($605 to $615 per tonne) c.f.r., traders said, but most importers are steering clear, with the timing of shipments from Turkey notoriously unreliable.
"If you ordered today, would you get it in by February? Its a crap shoot," one U.S. rebar buyer said.
"It depends how much financing you have, but its very risky," a second trader said.
Other potential sources of rebar have begun surfacing. Traders mentioned South Korea, Spain, Japan, Taiwan and Italy as countries with new vendors.
Spanish rebar is reportedly being offered at around $580 per ton ($640 per tonne), and South Korean offers have been floated at $567 per ton ($625 per tonne).
In September, 20,344 tonnes of rebar was licensed for import from Japan, with 5,004 tonnes earmarked for South Korea, according to license data as of Oct. 29 from the U.S. Commerce Departments Enforcement and Compliance.
The first trader said Spain might be the next sizable and reliable source of rebar, naming one Spanish millMegasa Siderúrgica SLin particular.
"Megasa has three mills in Spain and they have two in Portugal. They move about 2 million tonnes (per year). They dont want to be in the same category of Turkish mills as far as lowering the price. They want to make money and they want to increase prices. I do see them being a big player in the U.S.," he said.
Prices on Mexican material have reportedly risen about $20 per ton, and traders said Mexican producers plan to continue shipping material to the United States for as long as they can.
If duties are imposed on rebar imports from Turkey and Mexico, the next preferable source of rebar would be whichever country can offer material at the lowest price.