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Japanese Stainless Offer To China At $3,400 C&F For Ni-Based CR Sheets
Japan's stainless steel manufacturers are poised to offer nickel-based CR sheets to China at US$3,400/ton C&F in what they negotiate for November-December shipments after China's Anniversary of its Foundation (Oct 1) and the subsequent holidays (Oct 2-7).

In China, Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co (Tisco) increased its sales price of Ni-based stainless CR sheets by a cumulative Yn600/ton in September to meet LME nickel prices at a level of US$10/lb. The first price increase of Yn300/ton took effect from Sept 14, and a second one of Yn300/ton from Sept 21. Tisco also increased its sales price of chromium-based stainless CR sheets by Yn200/ton from Sept 21. As a result, the company settled its new sales prices after tax at Yn23,920/ton (US$3,518) for Ni-based products and Yn11,820/ton (US$1,738). Both prices remain unchanged so far. In this connection, the Wuxi stainless steel market for Ni-based CR sheets has changed little at Yn23,000/ton (US$3,382) after tax since August, which reflects a wait-and-see stance predominating among various users.

On their part, Taiwan's stainless steel producers such as Yieh United Steel Corp (Yusco) kept their domestic sales prices unchanged of Ni-based CR sheets in September.

But circumstances have changed since mid-September, in which LME nickel prices hold steady at a level of US$10/lb with signs of an advance, having a knock-on effect on stainless steel transaction prices in East Asia.

In South Korea, integrated steelmaker Posco has reacted with a domestic price increase of W150,000/ton (US$130) for Ni-based stainless sheets. As a result, the new sales prices are W3,970,000/ton (US$3,452) for CR sheets and W3,700,000/ton (US$3,217) for HR sheets.

In Taiwan, Yusco and other stainless steel producers are believed to have opted for a domestic price increase of Ni-based CR sheets by NT$3,000/ton (a little less than US$100) in what they sell in October.

In China, there are signs that Ningbo Baoxin Stainless Steel Co will execute domestic price increases of Yn1,000/ton (US$147) for Ni-based CR sheets and Yn500/ton (US$74) for Cr-based CR sheets after the nation's foundation anniversary and the subsequent holidays. Various users are reacting with a spate of orders to purchase what they require before transaction prices of stainless CR sheets move up amid production cutbacks at local stainless steel mills. There is no doubt that China's stainless steel manufacturers had no option but to reduce their production in September after the central government's compulsory execution of restrictions on electric power and water supplies for local stainless steel mills.

In September, Posco was said to have taken a more active sales offensive than Taiwan's stainless steel producers as to export deals of stainless CR sheets for shipments to China. Posco's offer price was US$3,100/ton C&F at a time when the Taiwanese rivals were conducting negotiations on their exports at around US$3,200/ton C&F. Japan's stainless steel producers ended up facing an uphill struggle in their export negotiations on Chinese deals as their offer prices had stood at a level of US$3,300/ton C&F.

With the LME nickel market on the rise, chances are Posco will respond with a price increase in export deals of Ni-based stainless CR sheets for October shipments. For their part, the Japanese stainless steel producers are poised to offer their exports of Ni-based CR sheets at US$3,400/ton C&F in a flood of orders from various customers in China, given negotiations for November-December shipments.

In Europe, meanwhile, stainless steel manufacturers are negotiating for price increases of their CR products, in which a price increase is in place so far for the equivalent of US$4,000/ton. In the USA, too, transaction prices of stainless CR sheets indicate an increase of close to US$3,800-4,000/ton. As a result, there is a surge of inquiries from various users in the West for imports of Asian stainless CR sheets that are still available at low prices. Aware of those inquiries, Japan's stainless steel producers are contemplating negotiating for shipments to the USA by request. It is difficult to negotiate exports of stainless CR coils to the USA because of the existing antidumping duty there on imports of stainless CR coils. It is possible, however, to negotiate exports there of stainless CR sheets, according to market sources.
last modified : Wed 06 Oct, 2010 [09:54]
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