Turkish rebar offers to the US continued to climb last week as mills pushed for higher pricing, market sources said.
Multiple US traders put current offers into the Gulf Coast in the range of $425-$435/mt CFR ($390-$400/st CIF). A Turkish trader said offers into the Gulf Coast from one mill are $425/mt CFR and offers into the East Coast are $435/mt CFR.
"At the very best you can buy at $420/mt, if it's a big buy, maybe $415/mt ($381/st CIF)," a US-based trader said.
Platts raised its US rebar import price assessment to $381-$386/st CIF Houston on Friday, up from $363-$367/st CIF. Turkey remains the price leader in the US Gulf Coast.
"If you look at the import statistics, [Turkey] is the dominant player without question," a second trader said. "They still set the pricing."
Turkey shipped 120,966 mt of rebar into the US in February, a 15% jump month on month.
As Turkish offers continue to climb, the first trader said he's not rushing into to market to buy until things settle a bit more.
Buyers are cautious in this market as customers in general had been battered in 2015 as inventory value fell alongside steel prices, the second trader said.
"After suffering months of decline like that, there's a lot of apprehension when prices are spiking upward," he said.
But as more people wait on the sidelines, it could serve to create a bubble when inventories run low in the US.
"As more and more people sit on the fence and not buy, the urgency to buy only increases down the line," he said. "You can't sell steel from an empty shelf."