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Eyes On World's Slab Prices For Q4 Shipments
The eyes of the world's steel markets are on how global transaction prices of steel slabs will come out for shipments in the October-December quarter of 2006. Until now, Arcelor Brasil has offered its slab exports at US$520-530/ton FOB for Q4 shipments, a price level that compares the existing settlements for Q3 shipments. As a result, there are forecasts that slab import deals will shape up in the West toward the end of this week.

So far, many of market sources expect the world's slab transaction prices to get settled at a somewhat lower level for Q4 shipment than the quarter before. For the main reason, they are unlikely to fall steeply even if supply-demand conditions slacken markedly in international slab markets. The logic goes that Arcelor Mittal can respond with necessary cuts of slab production from its steel mills in the world's various nations such as Brazil and Mexico.

In the past, the world's slab prices fluctuated considerably according to global supply-demand conditions for slabs. At present, though, it is considered possible to adjust the world's slab supplies with Arcelor Mittal's production cuts when global slab demand has slowed down.

As things now stand, it is most unlikely that the world's slab transaction prices will decline to below US$500/ton FOB for Q4 shipments, experts agree. Accordingly, there are prospects of bargainings centering on a price reduction of US$10-20/ton between slab suppliers and users.
last modified : Fri 15 Sep, 2006 [10:43]
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