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Negotiations On Ni-series Cold Stainless Sheets Started At $3,100 C&F For Mar. Shipment
According to a source familiar with the matter, the Japanese mills of cold-rolled Ni-series stainless steel sheets for Asia including China have started at $3,100 C&F with a markup of $200 per tons for March shipment. Other than the Japanese mills, Korea's POSCO and Taiwan's YUSCO seem to have proceeded with negotiations at $2,900 C&F keeping their increase by $100.

Corresponding to the nickel price rise to the current high $8.00's from $7.60 per pound in late November, the Japanese mills have offered a markup of $200 aiming at the level of $3,000 C&F. As a distributor and so on are lighting up with increased valuation of own inventories, their reluctance to sell will be foreseen if the situation becomes further increase in its price.

Each customer like a manufacturer of kitchen wares has not enough inventories. With this, as the environment is that when such customer receives a new order, it has to buy newly stainless cold sheets, it is sending inquiries of a large unit of quantity like quantity in December plus more than 1,000 tons against the Japanese mills. However, as Japan's prices are higher than those of Korea and so on, contracts have not been concluded yet.

Korea's POSCO left its domestic prices for January shipment unchanged. However, it seems to have put a squeeze on the discount range of Ni-series by 100,000 won from 500,000 to 400,000 won from the list price of 3,800 thousand won. The actual market price is about 3,700 thousand won ($3,217). It is uncertain whether it revises the list prices in February shipment or cuts down its discount range but it looks set to increase prices virtually.

Taiyuan Iron and Steel (TISCO) of China increased its domestic price for February shipment by 500 CNY to 21,700 CNY ($3,428 tax inclusive, hereinafter the same) from decrease of its price for January shipment by 900 CNY ($142), and this was its first markup in a long while. Its increase is corresponding to price rise in the Wuxi market from 19,700 CNY ($3,112) in November to current 21,000 CNY ($3,317) by 1,300 CNY ($205). In the backdrop of price rise in that market, there seems for total inventory quantity of Ni-series cold and hot stainless sheets to be 177 thousand tons dipping below the level of 180 thousand tons in the end of December for the first time in 2 years. In China, as it is the demand season of cold stainless sheets from now till May, increase in quantity and price will be expected unless the nickel price is collapsed. Meantime, TISCO increased its Cr-series cold stainless sheets for February shipment for the first time in a long time by 150 CNY ($24) to 11,750 CNY ($1,856).

In the European market, Thyssen-Krupp decreased its price in January shipment by 3 EUR from the previous month to 1,343 EUR. In the US market as well, its price dropped by just a little under $60 in January shipment. Both came from a slight decrease of the nickel price. However, at present, such nickel price is recovering. With this, in the USA and Europe, their prices are foreseen to be raised by $100 to 200 for February shipment following price rise of nickel.

As the Chinese New Year is coming soon, business negotiations also are getting a holiday. However, after the Chinese New Year, mills of each country seem to offer price increase consistently, the situation will become for prices of cold stainless sheets to increase surely. The problem is whether the European economic trend and nickel price are stabilized hereafter as well.
last modified : Mon 23 Jan, 2012 [11:22]
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