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Asian Market of CR Austenitic Stainless Sheets Looks More Hopeful
Hopefulness has returned in the market of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets in the Asian region. A change in prices of CR austenitic stainless sheets has come and bottom prices begin to rise owing to a price rise of the LME nickel. It is said that the price of $2,350 CFR already disappeared, and the lower end of the level of $2,400 CFR lessens. A source is observing that prices of austenitic ones have entered a seasonal pattern as usual and will continue to rise toward the next year.

There seems no specific reason in a recent increase in prices of nickel. Amid the price fall of resources like crude oil, iron ore and so on, nickel follows a different path. Some point out that as nickel-producing countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and so on enter the rainy season, nickel supply will be affected.

In any case, Korea's POSCO reduced its domestic prices of CR austenitic ones by 100,000 won ($90) for December shipment. The Taiwanese mills are reported also to have lowered its domestic prices by NT$1,500 ($50). In the export market, Chinese major mills are said to have raised prices by $50.

As export prices of austenitic ones have continued to fall so long, this month falls on the account closing month, and so on, customers' owned inventory has been lessened. For a past week or two, the export market prices are likely to have risen by more than $100. Under the circumstances, customers are seen to increase inquired quantity to meet demand before the Chinese New Year.

In the Japanese market of stainless steel, the market price of CR austenitic ones is 320,000 yen per ton on 2 mm thickness basis. When the exchange rate was 105 yen to the dollars, the price became $3,047 in dollar volume. Such price level was far higher than those of the international market, and accordingly, Japan might have been exposed to a risk of an export offensive from Korea and so on. However, when the exchange rate becomes 120 yen to the dollars, the price becomes the level of $2,660 of which price difference from the international prices becomes a very small, and importing steel products will be difficult to enter the Japanese market.

The Japanese stainless steel mills had been concerned that a sign of decline had appeared in demand for stainless steel and had thought to have to increase export quantity. However, if there are no inflows of import products, the brisk domestic demand can be maintained, and their necessity of export begins to wane off.

Amid the situation that overseas mills had largely decreased export prices, most of the Japanese mills had withstood their prices at the level of $2,600 CFR. Such price level is still higher than that of the overseas market but if the anticipatory demand will appear, prices will rise further. So, the Japanese mills are seeing for an opportunity of export to increase and watching the future price movement.
last modified : Thu 11 Dec, 2014 [09:49]
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