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ERW Pipe Prices Nearing Floor In Asia
Transaction prices of ERW pipes in Asia seem to be nearing their floor, market sources point out. For an indicator, Japanese integrated steelmakers find themselves in increased inquiries for imports of ERW pipes from Japan for September-October shipments.

The current inquiries for purchases in small quantities are seen as contacts to look into the prospects of ERW pipe prices toward the autumn of this year. Among the inquirers are independent oil companies operating in Indonesia and Australia, and steel stockists in Singapore.

The Japanese steelmakers, though, stay cautious about responding. They admit that they need to offer a low price level of US$650/ton FOB if they take up the inquiries as negotiable deals. By contrast, they negotiated export deals of ERW pipes at around US$800/ton FOB for April-May shipments.

In Asia, prices of ERW pipes are subject to a pronounced fall for a short period because every inquiry for a small lot brings a spate of offers from various steel mills in South Korea and China as well as the Japanese steelmakers. As far as South Korean steel rerollers are concerned, they are viewed as ready to negotiate ERW pipe exports at around US$550/ton FOB. On their part, the Japanese steelmakers see the wisdom to opt out of competition.

It is considered possible for the Korean steel rerollers to export ERW pipes even at a price level of US$500/ton FOB as they produce ERW pipes with HR coils bought from Taiwan and Japan at around US$400/ton FOB.

But it is likely that the Korean steel rerollers will have to increase what they charge for ERW pipes. For the main factor, Japan's and Taiwan's integrated steelmakers are taking action to raise prices in their HR coil exports to Asian destinations such as South Korea for July-September shipments. Accordingly, the situation is forecast to emerge that will prevent a further decline in ERW pipe prices in Asia.
last modified : Mon 15 Jun, 2009 [09:58]
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