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Japano-Korean Ship Plate Deals At $580 FOB For April-Sept 06
Japanese integrated steelmakers have worked out ship plate export deals at US$580/ton FOB with South Korea's major shipbuilding companies Hyundai Heavy Industries Co and Samsung Heavy Industries Co for shipments in April-September 2006. The new price marks a reduction of US$100 from the previous settlement for shipments in October 2005-March 2005. The Japanese steelmakers concluded their negotiations with Hyundai April 4 and with Samsung April 11.

In the negotiations this time, Hyundai requested a price reduction of US$180/ton and Samsung that of US$200/ton. Each request was intended to correct price differences between Japanese and South Korean heavy plates and pull down purchase prices for Japanese ship plates after tight supply-demand conditions for heavy plates settled down in Asia.

At present, the environment for tight heavy plate supplies non longer exists in Asia because expanded capacity is the norm of heavy plate production from major integrated steelmakers in East Asia.

In China, Baoshan Iron & Steel Co has new facilities on stream for 1,400,000 tpy of heavy plate production. In South Korea, Posco has reinforced its heavy plate capacity by 200,000 tpy. In Japan, too, some integrated steel companies have enlarged heavy plate capacity by 500,000-600,000 tpy. Meanwhile, South Korea's shipbuilding companies have begun to purchase heavy plates from Chinese steelmakers such as Wuhan Iron & Steel Group Corp and Shoudu Iron & Steel Co, thereby depending less on imported heavy plates from Japan than before.

Under the circumstances, it was considered certain from the beginning that the Japanese steelmakers would have to agree on a price reduction in the negotiations with the Korean shipbuilding companies. The two sides were once expected to focus their bargaining positions on a price level of US$600/ton FOB. At the final stage, the Japanese steelmakers conceded and agreed to close their deals at US$580/ton FOB, a concession to get square with the Korean shipbuilding companies. In this connection, the Korean shipbuilding companies showed no moves to demand a price reduction in their ship plate imports from Japan at a time when Posco priced down its domestic supplies of ship plates by W30,000/ton.

The Japanese steelmakers won a major price increase of US$150/ton to US$680/ton FOB in their ship plate export negotiations with the Korean shipbuilding companies for shipments in October 2005-March 2006. The negotiated price translated into a level of Y79,000/ton at an exchange rate of US$1.00-Y116, compared with the corresponding price settlement of Y60,000/ton for domestic ship plate supplies in Japan. Tight supply-demand conditions for heavy plates predominated in Asia when the Japanese steelmakers settled ship plate export deals with the Korean shipbuilders for shipments in October 2005-March 2006.
last modified : Mon 17 Apr, 2006 [11:38]
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