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China's Prices of CR Austenitic Stainless Sheets Might Bottom Out at Last
As Taiyuan Iron & Steel and Baoshan Iron & Steel of China left their domestic prices of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets unchanged for August shipment, those prices are thought to have bottomed out at long last. POSCO of Korea reduced its domestic prices of austenitic ones by 400,000 won ($360) for August shipment. The company had adjusted the range of discount with no change in its list prices but as divergence between its current and list prices became too big, it adjusted such divergence and seemed virtually to provide for an increase in prices next time.

Inquiries of austenitic stainless ones from customers have not increased yet. There was a case in the past that seeing a trend as bottoming out, customers bought them but prices of them dropped further, and accordingly, customers have still maintained a deliberate stance. In the Wuxi market of China, the prices of them are said to be rising even slightly, and attention is focused on the movement of that market for a week or two.

In the markets of Europe and the USA as well, AK Steel and so on are moving to increase their prices, and if the Asian market works with those markets, a possibility for the worldwide market prices of austenitic stainless sheets to rise will come out. But, the point is the reason that a mill side increases its prices. It cannot use a balance of supply and demand as a reason, and such reason will be ignored by customers because the market is still in a state of overproduction. In the end, if it raises its prices with a reason of costs, such reason is likely to depend on a LME price.

The environment of ferritic stainless sheets is also tough. Prices of ferro-chrome fell but there is no request for price down from customers using it as a reason for the time being. The No.4 steelmaking plant of the Pohang Steelworks of POSCO has started operation. That steelmaking plant is dedicated for ferritic stainless steel (with a capacity of 600 thousand tons a year), and when that plant goes into full-scale operation, it is liable to lower the market prices.
last modified : Mon 12 Aug, 2013 [14:56]
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