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Inquiries of CR Austenitic Stainless Sheets from EU Increasing
According to a source, inquiries of cold-rolled (CR) austenitic stainless steel sheets are increasing from Europe before entering the Christmas holiday. Bid prices are said to be around $2,600 CFR in dollar volume.

Chinese and Taiwanese mills' export of CR stainless sheets to Europe is likely to have been halted. A determination of an antidumping (AD) case on CR stainless sheets imported from both countries is expected to be made by the European Commission in March next year. It is because as such determination is retroactive to January, the export products of both countries to arrive there from January onward will be shelved. Chinese products and so on are mainly for independent coil centers of stainless sheets. Both countries' export quantity is a scale of 400 to 500 thousand tons in total. If the case is determined to be affirmative, each coil center have to find an alternative supply source next year instead of both countries.

It is uncertain how much AD duties are imposed as there was no provisional decision but there are a view of 20-30% and another optimistic view of only a samll percent, and in such a way, views seem to vary. In Europe, negotiations between European mills and customers have been undertaken for shipments of January-June next year. Attention is paid to how much quantity European mills get. If they will be able to cover a portion of China and Taiwan, it will be no problem.

However, seen from increased inquiries to Japan, it is likely to be difficult for all quantity from China and Taiwan to be covered by European mills. And, the source is saying as a feeling that there is a possibility for their negotiations to have been settled but it is uncertain whether prices have been raised.

The Japanese mills are saying that bid prices from Europe are too cheap. Those prices are seen to be based on export prices of China and Taiwan to Europe. A freight costs around $200 by a container vessel. So, such prices become below $2,400 on FOB basis. When export from both countries will be halted, a balance of supply and demand is predicted to be tightened. If prices in that region rise, there is a possibility for the Japanese mills' export contracts to be concluded by taking advantage of the weak yen. The source foresees for mills of India, South Africa and so on besides the Japanese mills to proceed with negotiations for the European region. However, Japan's export quantity of CR stainless sheets is around 20,000 tons a year to Europe, and even if they increase such quantity, their quantity could be increased by 10,000 tons or so at most.

Meantime, Korea's POSCO is also exporting to Europe. However, an AD case was determined to be affirmative in 2007, and although AD measures against Korea were lifted, voluntary restraints have still been imposed against the company, so the company is seen to be difficult to increase its export quantity.
last modified : Wed 24 Dec, 2014 [10:29]
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