According to a source, prices of steel wire rods are soaring in the Southeast Asian region. Prices of high-carbon wire rods are likely to have exceeded $700 CFR. In 2010-2012, prices of raw materials largely rose, and in that period, wire rod prices reached the level of $700. Current prices have been the high level since then. With this increase in prices, those of ordinary steel wire rods are also rising by $30 to $610 CFR from the level of $580 CFR at one time. Export prices of low-carbon steel wire rods to Japan are said to be 70,000 yen ($630) in yen equivalent.|
A large factor of soaring prices of wire rods is said to be lower exports of wire rods from China. In China, domestic market prices of wire rods in early December were 4,912 CNY ($722), which were far higher than those of hot-rolled steel coils (4,513 CNY or $663). In mid-November, prices of both items were reversed, and thereafter, the difference is expanding. Against a backdrop, there seem to be the facts that substandard long products were eliminated and demand for wire rods is strong due to public works towards the end of the year. Among blast furnace mills in that country, Hebei Iron & Steel and Jiangsu Shanggang are reported to have raised their domestic prices of wire rods by 160 CNY ($24) and 200 CNY ($29) respectively for mid-December orders. In the export market, prices of steel billets are rising. There is information that some Russian mill is offering its prices at $520 FOB. If the freight rate is presumed to be $100 to Asia, its prices of billets become the level of $600 CFR.
The Japanese mills have already sold out for shipments of the next quarter in export negotiations on wire rods. Their export shipments have been delayed by 2 to 3 months, and in addition, quantities were reduced by 20% or so. For the time being, they are likely to be in a wait-and-see attitude.