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POSCO's Prices of CR Austenitic Stainless Sheets to Be below $2,600 CFR
The market prices of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets in Asia are dropping responding to price down of the LME nickel price, and POSCO of Korea seems to have been proceeding with negotiations at around $2,550 CFR dipping below $2,600 CFR for May/June shipment. As the Japanese mills are difficult to follow such level of prices, they are in a state to stop negotiations on CR austenitic stainless sheets for general use. Each company makes it a practice to proceed with negotiations focusing on its distinct products.

The LME nickel price dropped to the level of $6 per pound. It is said to be foreseen still to continue to drop. As even if the price level is $2,600 CFR, the Japanese mills have to prepare themselves for deficits, prices of at least more than $,2700 CFR are necessary for them. There are many customers to purchase the Japanese products if the price difference is $100 or so from prices of the overseas mills. However, if it is as much as $200, the Japanese mills are trapped in a state not to have chance any more. Under the situation, it looks somehow as if each mill were to give up on general use products.

In the market, POSCO is actively moving to secure quantity at cheap prices, and against this, the Chinese products seem to be competing. If things go on like this, there is a possibility for price down to continue.

This week the Chinese stainless major mills like Taiyuan Iron & Steel are predicted to notice their prices for May shipment. There were some mills to cut their prices by 800 CNY ($127) ore more in case of April shipment. A source of Japan is observing for them to reduce their prices for May shipment as well. The market prices in Wuxi is said to have become the level of $2,400 excluding tax at the dollar conversion. The Chinese mills do not make their prices link to the LME price, and they make prices of nickel pig iron in that country as a benchmark but nevertheless, their prices are too cheap.

The Taiwanese mills filed recently an antidumping (AD) case against CR stainless sheets of China and Korea. Usually, if an AD case is filed, it is common practice for mills to exercise self-restraint in export to Taiwan but export to Taiwan is reported to continue regardless of the AD case. The Chinese and Korean mills seem to be in the direction to continue their export until a final decision on it is made. They might be suffering to that extent.
last modified : Fri 26 Apr, 2013 [14:19]
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