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East Asia's Stainless Producers To Up Ni-Based CR Sheet Prices At Home
There are forecasts that East Asia's stainless steel manufacturers in nations such as China, South Korea and Taiwan will execute considerable price increases this week each in the equivalent of US$200/ton or beyond in what they sell at home as nickel-based CR sheets. For the main incentive, LME nickel prices have further advanced to a level of US$9/lb since the middle of last week after an upswing just before the lunar New Year holidays in East Asia.

Japan's stainless steel producers, too, are set to offer a price increase of US$200/ton in their export deals of Ni-based CR sheets for shipments to Asian destinations, mainly to China. They are contemplating seeking an increased price level of US$3,100-3,200/ton C&F for the product of 2mm thick when they start negotiations this week on their export deals for March-April shipments. They have already firmed up part of their export deals at US$2,900/ton C&F for March shipments.

LME nickel prices rose from a level of US$7/lb from that of US$8/lb between mid-December and late December last year. China's Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co (Tisco), one of the nation's major stainless steel companies, reacted in January with a domestic price increase of Ni-based CR sheets by the equivalent of US$300/ton. Taiwan's stainless steel mills reacted then with a similar price increase as well in their domestic sales of Ni-based CR sheets. At the time, there was speculation that South Korea's integrated steelmaker Posco, too, would price up its domestic shipments of Ni-based stainless sheets by W100,000-250,000/ton (US$87-218). Actually, though, Posco has limited the price increase to W100,000/ton for February shipments. Still, it is likely that Posco will announce another domestic price increase of W150,000/ton on this weekend as to Ni-based stainless sheets.

Tisco held back from its announcement last week on the company's weekly price renewal of Ni-based CR sheets because of the lunar New Year holidays. Given LME nickel prices on the rise, it is considered virtually certain that Tisco will raise the asking price by Yn1,000/ton (US$147) or more when the company reports the price renewal Feb 23, effective with Feb 24 sales. Taiwan's stainless steel mills, too, are likely to increase their domestic sales prices of Ni-based CR sheets from this weekend or from March 1 by the equivalent of US$200/ton or beyond.
last modified : Thu 25 Feb, 2010 [10:06]
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