Algeria has released 400,000 metric tonne (MT) worth of new rebar licences for European importers in September on the back of brisk domestic demand and prices.
The Algerian government initially released licences in August – when some European sellers into the country had all but given up on the market – with 180,000 out of 534,000 MT going to seven state-owned companies. The balance went to 100 private importers, stated Platts, S&P Global, a leading independent provider of information for the commodities and energy markets.
Some in the market had been hoping for 800,000 MT of licences to be issued initially, which would have been down sharply from 2 million MT last year.
European sellers welcomed the fresh tonnage, suggesting the new licenses allowed them to sell more than under the last issuance, which was more widely spread across companies.
The move to issue new licenses comes on the back of strong Algerian longs demand. The country has been hoovering up CIS billet, pushing prices up $15/mt in two days to $525/mt FOB CIS, said the report by Platts, S&P Global.
Traders said southern European mills were closing deals into north Africa at around €520/MT CFR Algerian ports, equating to €485-€490/MT FOB Mediterranean.