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Asian hot-rolled steel coil market continued its upward trend Thursday, amid a strong Chinese domestic market while some buyers raised indications on firm offers.

S&P Global Platts assessed SS400 HRC 3 mm thick at $440/mt FOB China Thursday, up $3/mt day on day. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was also assessed up $1/mt from Tuesday at $442/mt.

Chinese mills' export willingness weakened further Thursday, on a strong rally seen in Chinese futures and physical market, although mills held offers unchanged at the low end of the range at $445/mt FOB for January shipment.

One trader reported bidding level from Pakistan for Chinese SS400 coil rose to $465-$470/mt CFR level, December shipment.

In Vietnam, local buying indication for SS400 HR sheet moved higher to $450/mt CFR, according to a northern China mill. A deal for Indian SS400 coils was heard concluded at $443/mt CFR Wednesday, which was not confirmed by buyer and seller side.

A mill source reported a deal for 3,000 mt of South Korean SS400 coils done at $455/mt CFR Vietnam for January shipment.

Separately, S&P Global Platts assessed SAE1006 HRC at $446/mt FOB China, up $3/mt day on day. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade was assessed flat at $434/mt.

In Vietnam, buyers did not show much activity for SAE HRC for January shipment on the day, before Formosa Ha Tinh Steel announce its new monthly sales prices.

Offers for December shipment Indian SAE was at $443-$445/mt CFR, essentially unchanged day on day. Russian SAE big coils was offered at $432/mt CFR for February shipment.

Market sentiment in China improved further on the day, after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China will lower the minimum capital ratio requirement for some infrastructure projects to 20% from 25% to boost growth, sources said. They also cited domestic industry data which showed market inventory and mills inventory still falling this week.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most actively traded January 2020 contract closed at Yuan 3,467/mt ($494/mt) Thursday, up Yuan 90/mt or 2.7% day on day. This marked the contract's highest point since late September.

Meanwhile, Chinese physical market rose strongly with futures market. In Shanghai, the Q235 5.5 mm HRC spot price was assessed at Yuan 3,595/mt ex-stock, including value-added tax, up Yuan 50/mt day on day and reached a one-month highest level.

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