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Japanese Export Price Recovery In Prospect For Ni-Based Stainless CR Sheets
Japan's stainless steel manufacturers expect to get an early recovery to a price level of US$2,000/ton FOB in their export deals of nickel-based CR sheets if LME nickel prices continue to trend upward from this week onward.

In the first week of April, LME nickel prices advanced by US$0.50/lb. Taiwan's and South Korea's stainless steel producers reacted with a price increase of US$50-100/ton in their exports of Ni-based CR sheets. On their part, Japan's stainless steel manufacturers have stopped their offers of export sales until now to watch how things go.

In the final week of March, the LME nickel market stood at US$4.30/lb. It went up by US$0.50 to US$4.80/lb late last week. Taiwan's Yieh United Steel Corp (Yusco) reacted with a price increase of US$100/ton in its exports of Ni-based CR sheets to correct the price reduction of US$50-60/ton made at the end of March. Also, South Korea's integrated steelmaker Posco is said to have begun offering its exports of Ni-based stainless CR sheets with a price increase of US$50/ton.

In China, stainless steel manufacturer Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co (Tisco) increased its domestic sales price of Ni-based CR sheets by Yn400/ton to Yn15,820/ton (US$2,326) after tax in the second week of April. The company has given notice on its weekly price renewal since March. The Wuxi stainless steel market, too, advanced by Yn600/ton (US$88) in reaction to Tisco's price increase.

Prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets in Asia have already come under the gamut of bad factors, while stainless utensil manufacturers and stainless steel rerollers there have few stocks of materials on the whole. Therefore, the prices are sensitive to fluctuations in the LME nickel market. With an increase in the LME nickel market last week, various users of stainless steel in Asia have reacted with active inquiries for imports of Ni-based CR sheets from Japan and elsewhere.

The users as a whole look set to get necessary materials at what they believe a floor price. It is understood that they are taking account of offer prices such as Posco's US$1,850/ton C&F and Yusco's US$1,900/ton C&F.

Until recently, Japan's stainless steel producers conducted their export deals of Ni-based CR sheets at a price level of US$1,900/ton FOB. At present, though, most of them are putting their offers on hold to watch how things go because they see a possibility that they will struggle for a price recovery to a level of US$2,000/ton FOB or beyond in what they negotiate, depending on how LME nickel prices fluctuate.

In China, meanwhile, the demand season for stainless CR sheets sets in after the nation's May Day.
last modified : Thu 16 Apr, 2009 [09:50]
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