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Ni-Based Stainless CR Sheet Prices To Hit $3,200 C&F In East Asia
Indications are that transaction prices of nickel-based stainless CR sheets for export will move up to a level of US$3,200/ton C&F before long in East Asia where stainless steel manufacturers in China, Taiwan, and South Korea as well as Japan enjoy enhanced inquiries for what they sell.

By contrast, transaction prices of chromium-based stainless CR sheets for export stand at a level of US$1,700/ton for the product of 2mm thick so far in East Asia. In Taiwan, domestic stainless steel producers recently executed a domestic price increase of NT$4,000/ton for Cr-based CR sheets after a long interval.

In the West, meanwhile, users' last-minute purchases of Ni-based stainless CR sheets are perking up because various stainless steel producers are set to price up what they provide for their customers.

The following are an overview of the present market conditions for Ni-based stainless CR sheets in East Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Japan
Stainless steel producers are on track to seek an increased price level of US$3,200/ton C&F in what they export. They have already established a low of US$3,100/ton C&F in negotiated exports. They find it necessary to get a higher price level of US$3,300/ton C&F, given the European situation for an alloy surcharge.

Taiwan
Stainless steel producers executed a domestic price increase of NT$4,000/ton (US$120 plus) early last week. At the same time, they raised what they charge for export sales from US$3,100/ton C&F to US$3,200/ton C&F, an increase that is believed to have factored in part of LME nickel prices at a level of US$10/lb.

South Korea
Until now, Posco and Hyundai Steel Co have executed a price increase of W100,000/ton (about US$87) twice in what they sell at home, a cumulative price increase of W200,000/ton that is believed to have factored in LME nickel prices at a level of US$8.50/lb. With the current LME nickel prices at a level of US$10/lb, chances are the two companies will execute another price increase of around W200,000/ton (US$177), given factors such as an appreciating won against the US dollar. There is a possibility that both companies' new sales prices will become the highest level in East Asia if they hit a level of W3,700,000/ton (US$3,270) after a third price increase.

China
Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co (Tisco) kept its domestic sales price unchanged at Yn25,120/ton (US$3,694) after tax last week when LME nickel prices stood at a level of US$9/lb. With a buoyant LME nickel market again, though, it is considered certain that Tisco will opt to raise the asking price this week.

In the Wuxi area, stocks of stainless sheet products totaled 229,000 tons in mid-March, up nearly 30,000 tons from the end of February, which is seen as a source of concern despite China's strong domestic demand for stainless steel products.

Europe
Stainless steel producers are expected to increase the alloy surcharge by 300 euros or more for April shipments to meet LME nickel prices on the rise. As a result, the new prices of Ni-based stainless CR sheets are forecast to translate into beyond US$3,600/ton. The existing alloy surcharge is settled at 1,197 euros based on a nickel price of US$8.40/lb.

USA
An increase of US$300 or more in the alloy surcharge is expected to take effect in domestic shipments of Ni-based stainless CR sheets, given an advance in LME nickel prices. Accordingly, the new prices of domestic shipments will go up to around US$3,700/ton for the product of 2mm thick from the current level of US$3,400/ton. The existing alloy surcharge is based on a nickel price of US$8.60/lb.
last modified : Mon 29 Mar, 2010 [10:42]
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