The price of nickel (Ni)-base cold-rolled (CR) stainless steel (SST) in the Asian region has reportedly sunk below $1,900 CFR. This occurred in the wake of PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) lowering its export price to $1,850-1,880 CFR. Chinese mills and some others are expected to follow suit. Against Chinese mills, which have been active about the exports to South Korea, South Korean POSCO has lowered its domestic price (its quotation for December shipments has been kept unchanged), conducting export negotiations at $1,900 CFR. Japanese mills, which are unable to compete over SUS304 and have no choice but to take a wait-and-see stance, are preparing themselves to proceed their negotiations with focus on high-quality Ni products.|
Only a month ago, ITSS's CR SST price was $1,950 CFR. Even Chinese mills were unable to match to this price at the time. As this illustrates, the Indonesian price is sweeping across the Asian region. ITSS is said to be actively promoting its products in the Middle East as well, expanding its sales territory.
Some signs are indicating that the current slump in the CR SST market price in Asia is not entirely attributable to ITSS. Domestic demand for SST in China has reportedly become rapidly sluggish. With the government restrictions on SST productions in winter being less strict compared to last year, the total production seems to remain unchanged and the inventories at mills on an increase. An increasing number of companies are said to be have fallen into the red.