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Ni-base SST Sheet: No Buyers React to Changing Raw Material Prices
Export negotiations on nickel (Ni)-base stainless steel (SST) sheet for October - November shipments have already begun; however, the prospects are even dimmer for Japan.

The price of Ni raw material has exceeded $7 per pound in August. For a $1 increase in the Ni price, a $100 increase in the product price is normally required for manufacturers to remain profitable. However, customers have shown no response to the raw material price exceeding the $7 level. They have shown no interest whatsoever in buying. This may mean a total absence of demand in the overseas markets. Another possibility is that South Korea and China are attracting customer attention with markdown backed by their currently weak currencies.

The mill side aims to achieve a markup. POSCO has raised its domestic price for October shipments by 100,000 KRW ($83). The South Korean giant is expected to disclose its price for September shipments this week, and a source close to Japanese mills anticipates that it will offer another 100,000-KRW markup to absorb the increase in the Ni price.

China's Taiyuan Steel has also raised its price for August shipments by $100, and is expected to make a similar move again for September shipments.

Japanese mills are also about to begin negotiations for October shipments, with most likely a markup offer. The current market price of cold-rolled (CR) steel is said to be $2,050-2,100 CFR; however, the mills must ignore the price to stick to their aim. Their offer prices will be quite different from the market price, and thus the mills will likely hold talks with mainly Japanese-affiliated firms while selecting orders to accept with caution. Taiwan is carrying out an anti-dumping investigation against Chinese SST sheet. This has prevented Chinese products from entering Taiwan, which may provide an opportunity for Japanese products.

On another note, PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) reportedly had a fire at its CR steel mill in July; however, no negative impact can be observed in its export volume.
last modified : Wed 04 Sep, 2019 [10:28]
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