Rebar importers look to new material offers

NEW YORK — Rebar importers are setting their sights on offers from countries like Japan, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Spain, with material from new sources beginning to trickle into the market even as a last wave of Turkish orders is said to be arriving in the United States in January.

Rebar traders rushed to import Turkish material to the United States ahead of impending anti-dumping and countervailing duty determinations in February, and traders have said that more than 90,000 tonnes of Turkish material is likely to enter the United States next month (, Nov. 12).

But with the possibility of anti-dumping duties on Turkish and Mexican rebar, importers now are looking elsewhere for material.

Traders said U.S. producers will not be able to meet rebar buyers’ demands on their own. Rebar mills’ lead times have extended in recent weeks as demand has improved, rebar buyers told AMM, and some material has been scarce.

"We’re busy and there are a lot of sizes we need to get quickly and there are a lot of holes in our supply," a rebar buyer said.

"As much as (the domestic mills) hate (imports), they couldn’t handle domestic demand if there weren’t imports," a rebar trader said. "Domestics couldn’t fill all the need."

Rebar imports from Spain totaled 16,773 tonnes in November, according to preliminary license data released this week, the first shipments from the country since 2007. Imports from Portugal came to 6,097 tonnes last month, the first time Portuguese material has ever arrived in the United States, according to U.S. Census data reaching back to 1992.

The material from Spain and Portugal is coming from Megasa Siderúrgica SL, whose prices are at a premium to Turkish import prices, a second rebar trader said. "If they say 20,000 (tonnes) a month, they’re going to stick with that. They’ve told all the traders, ‘we’re here to make money and we’re here for you guys to improve your prices.’"

The customs value of the Spanish rebar, which excludes duties, costs and international freight, is $620 per tonne ($562 per ton), according to licensing data.

A 10,555-tonne shipment of rebar from Peru is scheduled to arrive this month, according to licensing data, as well as 2,141 tonnes of Korean rebar, in addition to the 5,627 tonnes of Korean rebar that have already been imported this year. Traders have told AMM that Korean mills are holding back on offers but have said material may be available in the future.

Some 13,171 tonnes of rebar arrived from Japan in October.

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