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Asian Prices Of Austenitic CR Stainless Sheets To Downward Revision By Over $100
Prices of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets in the Asian area are forced to be revised to the downward trend by $100 to 150 to the level of $2,700 CFR. As until the middle of October, nickel prices on the LME basis exceeded $8, the Asian stainless steel mills all together offered price increase by more than $150 but with price drop of nickel, the market has entered a phase of price down again.

Korea's POSCO left promptly its prices unchanged for November shipment. However, as the nickel price becomes the lower end of the $7 level and the company is driven to revise its prices, it will reduce its prices by more than $100 to the level of $2,700 CFR. The Taiwanese mills are predicted next week to cut their prices by about $100 for November shipment. They are to have increased their prices by about $150 for October shipment, and if so, they are thought to have even a small amount of price up left.

China's Wuhan Iron & Steel increased its domestic prices by 200 CNY ($32) for November shipment on October 16. However, the company is seen to revise its prices downward soon.

In Europe and the USA, the US mills raised the surcharge by $63 in November shipment. However, they seem to adjust their prices by reducing their base prices. In Europe as well, the mills raised the surcharge by 19 EUR but they are seen to be forced to reduce their base prices from customers. The European and US mills are said to have stated to review their base prices accompanied by increase of the surcharge. If it is so, as they are thought not to accept revision of the base prices easily, negotiations on the base price revision seem to face a difficulty.

The Japanese mills aimed to raise their prices to $2,900 to 3,000 CFR when the nickel price rose. However, it became a momentary dream, and they are facing a phase to revise. They are in an environment to have to raise their prices to the level of $2,800 CFR which is higher than those of the Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese mills.

The time during October through December usually falls on the off-demand season for CR austenitic stainless sheets. As the nickel price rose incidentally this time, negotiations ran to be slightly active. However, the result became the downward trend as usual. The Japanese mills will skip to accept an order if those prices become below $2,800 CFR considering profitability.

Next quarter (January - March) of every year is the demand season. In China, even if nickel pig iron is used, the market prices are the low level with no room to cut prices any more. And, in the Wuxi market, inventory is dipping below 190 thousand tons to 189 thousand tons. If the nickel price returns to the level of $8 again, price increase of CR austenitic stainless sheets is expected to succeed. Negotiations for January shipment are awaited starting from the middle of November, and patience is needed for a while.

Meantime, CR ferritic stainless sheets are also facing a difficulty. In Europe and the USA, the surcharge is certainly reduced due to price drop of chromium. In Asian as well, prices of them are seen to drop. At present, even a case of the price level below $1,500 CFR is appearing. The Japanese mills seem to be difficult to compete in the field of general use products to the 430 series.
last modified : Fri 02 Nov, 2012 [10:35]
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