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Japanese Export Prices Surge To $1,500 C&F For Cr-Based Stainless CR Sheets
Negotiated prices show a surge of US$1,500/ton C&F for Southeast Asia in exports of chromium-based stainless CR sheets from Japan to the rest of Asia for October shipments at a time when Japanese export prices of Cr-based stainless CR sheets are shooting up.

Japan's stainless steel producers are done with their export negotiations on shipments of Cr-based stainless CR sheets to Asian destinations for October shipments. As a result, an increased price of US$1,500/ton C&F represents the norm of deals in place. Besides, a higher price of US$1,500/ton C&F has gone through in part of shipments to Southeast Asia.

Aware of a favorable situation, the Japanese steelmakers are considering seeking a new price level of US$1,600/ton C&F in their export deals of Cr-based stainless CR sheets for November shipments onward.

It is various users' growing preference of Cr-based stainless CR sheets to nickel-based ones that partly accounts for surging prices in Japanese exports of Cr-based stainless CR sheets, according to market sources. It is understood that the users are reacting negatively to an excess advance in prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets.

Having an impact, too, are full production levels of Cr-based stainless CR sheets at the works of Japan's JFE Steel Corp and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corp. In South Korea, meanwhile, integrated steelmaker Posco is the only company that produces Cr-based stainless CR sheets.

Japanese export prices of Cr-based stainless CR sheets stood at a level of US$1,000/ton C&F at the beginning of this year, down nearly $450/ton from the latter half of last year. But they rose by US$150/ton in February-March this year and by US$100/ton to US$1,300/ton C&F in July-August as if to meet an upswing of prices for Ni-based stainless CR sheets.

By comparison, Japanese export prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets have continued to move up by US$300-500/ton until now to a level of US$3,700/ton C&F for September shipments. For their part, the Japanese steelmakers are contemplating struggling for a higher price level of US$3,800/ton C&F in their export deals for October shipments.

Under the present circumstances, the price spread between Ni-based stainless CR sheets and Cr-based products has widened to US$2,200/ton in Japanese stainless steel exports for October shipments. In the past, the price spread stood at a level of US$1,500-2,000/ton when prices of Cr-based stainless CR sheets showed a mild increase .

In Europe, the current transaction prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets are described as a level of US$4,500/ton. European exports of Ni-based stainless CR sheets to Asia are on hold in the repercussions of a recent accident at the works of a major stainless steel manufacturer in Germany. On the contrary, there are even import requirements in Europe that will absorb surplus amounts of Ni-based stainless CR sheets in Asia. Accordingly, transaction prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets look set to advance further in Asia, market sources believe.

In this connection, a user shift from Ni-based stainless CR sheets to Cr-based ones will accelerate over time, thereby giving Cr-based products a place in the sun at long last, experts forecast.
last modified : Thu 14 Sep, 2006 [10:46]
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