The Iranian billet market was slow last week amid reduced availability of material for shipment in January. In addition, several problems including the fluctuating value of the riyal and increasing oil prices caused concerns in the country.
Recent offers for Iranian billet were reported at $380-390 per tonne fob compared with $370-380 per tonne fob the week before.
No major deals were heard, however.
Iranian material is traditionally at least $20 per tonne cheaper than billet from other origins due to the economic sanctions imposed on the country by the United States, creating additional risks. But because demand for Iranian billet in Asia increased amid the rise in demand from China in recent months, the suppliers of Iranian billet reduced the gap to competitors’ prices.
On the other hand, Iran’s sales to the United Arab Emirates were limited.
“In the first half of 2019, billet imports from Iran stopped due to sanctions [imposed on that country by the US] so re-rollers had to start buying from the CIS,” a producer source in the UAE told Fast markets.