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Rising Chinese Inquiries For Stainless CR Sheet Imports From Japan
Japan's stainless steel manufacturers find themselves in rising inquiries from China's wholesalers that want to import Japanese stainless CR sheets. Chinese wholesalers may have concluded that the stainless CR sheet market in East Asia has bottomed out, suggest Japanese steel industry sources.

There is little possibility, though, that the Japanese steelmakers will respond at once with negotiations because bids cited in the existing inquiries are too low to accept. The bids stand at a level of US$3,300-3,400/ton FOB for the nickel-based CR product 2mm thick. Under the existing circumstances, it is likely that the Japanese steelmakers will consider starting negotiations if Chinese wholesalers' bids go up to a level of US$3,600/ton FOB for the nickel-based grade 2mm thick.

In China, major stainless steel producers such as Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co apply flat domestic prices to both nickel-based and chromium-based CR sheets for September shipments. With a slack stainless steel market at home, the stainless steel majors' current quotations after value-added tax are higher by Yn1,800/ton (US$265) than the going market prices for Ni-based CR sheets, which indicates a wider spread than the earlier one of Yn1,600/ton (US$235).

As to China's distribution stocks of stainless steel, they currently stand at a low level of 120,000 tons in total as CR and HR products in the Wuxi area, moving sideways from a month ago. As a result, there are few prospects of a downspin in what the stainless steel majors charge for their products. Meanwhile, there are signs that local users still favor stainless steel purchases for immediate requirements alone.
In East Asia, market conditions for stainless CR sheets have changed little for the past one month. At present, the stainless CR sheet market is bouncing along the bottom.

In Europe, meanwhile, an increased nickel surcharge of 1,504 euros/ton applies to stainless steel shipments in September, up from the July settlement of 1,058 euros/ton. The current base price of 1,100 euros/ton for the sheet product 2mm thick plus the nickel surcharge translates into a price level of US$3,980/ton.
last modified : Thu 18 Sep, 2008 [10:49]
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