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Prices of CR Stainless Steel in Asia Remain Extremely Sluggish
The prices of cold-rolled (CR) stainless steel in the Asian region, which have remained sluggish awhile, are now showing almost no fluctuations at all. What lies behind this is said to be PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) advancing into the export market more aggressively than before. Customers are taking a wait-and-see stance, putting off negotiations.

According to sources, Thainox (Thailand)'s offer price of nickel (Ni)-base CR is said to be set at what is equivalent to $2,600 per ton. Meanwhile, the price of import products (which are assumed to be Malaysia-made) is reportedly $2,350 CFR. This large gap of as much as $250 makes it impossible for Thainox to compete against the export products. The sources observe that Thainox will resort to an anti-dumping (AD) suit sooner or later.

Attention is now on how POSCO reacts. The South Korean steel giant is said to have started producing 200-series as a countermeasure against ITSS. In May shipment, 6,000 tons of Ni-base CR has reportedly arrived from Indonesia, and the quantity is expected to become larger for June shipment. ITSS is said to be offering a price $50 cheaper than the price offered by its parent company, Zhejiang Tsingshan Steel of China. Under the current environment, it is impossible for POSCO to compete against either Chinese or Indonesian products pricewise.

POSCO has been avoiding production cutback by forcing hot-rolled (HR) stainless steel coil; however, such a measure is seemingly pushing to the limit.

Thainox (POSCO's subsidiary)'s capacity of CR is said to be 19,000 tons per month, while POSCO exports 20,000 tons of HR stainless steel to Thailand per month. If the subsidiary has no more room for surplus from the parent company, POSCO may resort to an AD suit against Indonesia, while beefing up its export to Japan. Japanese stainless steel mills are on heightened alert.

The prices of chromium-base products are not going up, either. The price of SUS430 is said to be at around $1,600 CFR. Japanese mills are offering at 2,000 CFR with a markup of $200 for August shipment. Seeing the $400 gap with the market price, customers are maintaining their wait-and-see stance and refraining from placing an order.
last modified : Thu 12 Jul, 2018 [10:25]
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