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Prices of CR Austenitic Stainless Sheets Might Recover in Full Swing
Prices of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets (to SUS304) in the Wuxi market of China rose by 1,000 CNY ($161) in the past week to 16,700 CNY ($2,693 including tax). Compared with those in early July which dipped below 15,000 CNY to 14,700-14,800 CNY ($2,370-2,387), they returned as much as 2,000 CNY ($322). At present, it becomes a phenomenon that the market prices exceed the mills' prices, and the domestic prices for September shipment being set out this or next week by Taiyuan Iron & Steel (TISCO), Baoshan Iron & Steel (Baosteel) or whatever are expected to be raised largely. The Japanese mills are expecting that if an increase in prices by about 1,000 CNY is carried out, it will impact substantially on the market.

The backdrop of the rapid rise in prices of austenitic ones is uncertain for the time being but one of the factors is thought to be the price hike of material nickel. As the LME nickel price which was $6.09 per pound as of July 30 rose to $6.70 late last week, customers might be seen to have moved to replenish inventory and so on.

In the Wuxi market, prices of CR stainless sheets to 200 series rose on 19th as much as 500 CNY all at once. One-hundred percent of the mills to produce 200 series are said to use nickel pig iron. Prices of nickel pig iron are unknown from outside but as with a decrease in the LME price, prices of nickel pig iron also dropped, among the nickel pig iron manufacturers, small and medium-sized ones are reported to have been driven into suspension of operations. As a result, the balance of supply and demand of nickel pig iron became tightened, which seems to lead to a substantial price rise of products this week. Even in case of prices of nickel, nickel pig iron or whatever, it is certain that prices of raw materials for the Chinese stainless steel mills are increasing.

In the export market, there is information that among Chinese mills, TISCO already raised its prices of CR austenitic stainless sheets for Korea by $180 for October shipment, and Baosteel also increased its prices by $50. If they raise largely their domestic prices for September shipment, they are expected to increase their prices additionally for export as well.

The Japanese mills had been difficult to make even offers in the world of items for general use to 304 due to prices of such items having been too much to be low. If the market recovers, they are in a stance to proceed with negotiations in no hurry or slowly. However, Taiwan has practiced to impose antidumping (AD) duties on CR austenitic stainless sheets against China and Korea, and AD duties are the range of 20.5 to 46% against the Korean mills. Depending on where a portion that Korea will not be able to export to Taiwan is devoted, turmoil in prices is concerned to take place.
last modified : Mon 26 Aug, 2013 [14:00]
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