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Levelling Off of CR Sheet Prices Offered in Negotiations for Asia for Feb Shipt
Negotiations on cold-rolled (CR) steel sheets for general use for Asia have been commenced for February shipment. The Japanese mills seem to have mostly offered levelling off of prices from those for January shipment. The Chinese New Year's Day falls on February 19 next year being nearly 3 weeks late from this year. So, negotiations lack a surge of enthusiasm, and inquiries are slack following those for January shipment. In case of this year, negotiations bustled to some extent before the demand season in March. The demand season might be deferred to April shipments.

Prices of CR sheets for January shipment as well as other steel products like hot-rolled (HR) steel coils dropped by around $20 from the previous month. If it will be ready to bounce back with this, there is a possibility that a factor of a price fall in negotiations on CR sheets for February shipment will fade out and prices will remain flat. If prices will remain flat for March shipment as well, it will be in a state for prices to recover for April shipments as it enters the demand season. Just like for January shipment, Korea's POSCO is now active in exporting of CR sheets mainly for the remote regions like the Middle East and Central and South America. Its price is reported to be $560 CFR. Depending on freight rates, there are questionable cases whether it will be able to maintain the level of $500 on FOB basis.

Such level is almost similar to that of Chinese products. Cheaper prices than this level are of Russian products. Those prices are said to be the level of 540 CFR, which is likely to be offered to India, Central and South America and so on.

Besides POSCO, blast furnace mills actively to mount an sales offensive of CR sheets are lately appearing. Prices of HR coils are falling too much sharply in November through December although HR coils could have maintained profitability even at lower level till then. As the range of a price fall of CR sheets is narrower than that of HR coils, from the profitability point of view, CR sheets becomes attractive, so mills of those countries are likely to market in rivalry on CR sheets each other.

Customers are waiting and seeing about negotiations on CR sheets for February shipment, and there are few to purchase them for the time being. Under the circumstances, a sharp decline in prices like for January shipment will be avoidable. The Japanese mills consider being able to conclude contracts at levelling off of prices.
last modified : Thu 08 Jan, 2015 [11:30]
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