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Brazilian steel slab prices rangebound on quiet market

Sao Paulo — Spot export prices for Brazilian merchant steel slabs were flat this week, as sellers tried to push prices up, but buyers insisted on bids as low as $440/mt FOB.

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Despite a consensus among market players that uncertainties over Chinese governmental policies are stalling negotiations in the global slab market, differences remain over the prospects for market value.

"Chinese hot-rolled coil has been stable for some days, as a result of governmental policies. Some mills that did not believe in the effectiveness of such measures had to cut production," said a supplier, pinning the Brazilian slab-origin material at the $450-$460/mt FOB level.

"Prices were very low 10 days ago, with deals being closed at $440/mt. In the last few days, it is more likely around $460/mt," he said. A lower range was not sustainable, he said. "This $450-$460/mt level is healthy for everyone," the source said.

Another seller, however, said this price rebound did not occur. "I am trying to hold prices at $460/mt, but bids continue as low as $440/mt FOB," he said, affirming that no deals were closed during the week.

S&P Global Platts weekly Brazilian merchant steel slab export assessment remained at $450/mt FOB on Friday, based on a $445-$455/mt range of bids and offers.

--Jose Guerra, jose.guerra@spglobal.com
--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com