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India prefers to export pig iron rather than blast furnace billet

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Owing to higher bids for pig iron amid the Ukraine war impact, Indian mills are seen accelerating pig iron exports over blast furnace-based billet shipments. Induction furnace billet exporters, however, are enjoying an African demand uptick, sources inform Kallanish.


Mills are heard quoting pig iron export offers at $820-830/tonne fob India, whereas BF-grade billet offers are at $780-790/t fob. However, big mills are heard refraining from offering billet due to exhausted export allocations. According to sources, an Indian mill was heard concluding a deal for 20,000-25,000 tonnes of pig iron to the US at $820/t fob India.


“This is merely an opportunistic sale,” a senior trader says of the US deal. “Mills, even the small-scale ones, are focusing more on exporting pig iron instead of billet. The US is one of the largest importers of pig iron and, owing to the Ukraine-Russia issue, the US is not importing pig iron from the CIS region. This has created an opportunity for Indian mills to offer pig iron at a higher price.”


Unlike BF billet producers, IF billet producers in Gujarat have raised offers on the back of prevailing strong demand from East African nations. Offers have picked up by another $10/t on-week to $810-815/t fob Indian west coast, equating to around $880-890/t cfr Kenya and Tanzania.


Low domestic Indian billet demand has further pushed mills to produce for export purposes. Mills are heard concluding deals daily at $810-815/t fob India to Africa. Owing to this, India has refrained from offering IF billet to the Gulf Cooperation Council and other destinations.


“The African market has turned good for India recently,” says a senior executive from a Gujarat-based mill. “We remember selling billet at as low as $600/t fob India a few months back. Because of higher consumption for rebar in Africa amid the summer season, buyers have increased billet procurement there.”


Billet offers in the domestic market in India are noted down. Quotes on Thursday were noted at $737/t ex-Mandi, $713/t ex-Raipur, $737/t ex-Mumbai and $753/t ex-Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

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