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China’s CRC prices start to rise on more export interest - 5 March 2012

China’s cold reduced coil and sheet export volumes dipped for the second month in a row in January as a result of scarce bookings made from end-October through November. Exporters say overseas demand for CRC has remained subdued but inquiries have recently increased in tandem with rising export prices.

Currently, export prices for Chinese 1.0mm CRC are prevailing at around $730/tonne fob, up about $15/t over the past two weeks. Some deals have already been concluded at this level with South American and Middle Eastern buyers.

Overseas demand for CRC has been recovering slowly this year, but its export prices will stay firm as long as HRC export prices continue to rise, some exporters tell SBB.

Transacted export prices for 5.5mm thick and above boron-added HRC have increased by a further $5/t over the past few days to around $640/t fob. This price is about $20/t higher than mid-February and $40/t higher than January.

In January, China exported 228,269 tonnes of CRC, down 21% from December’s 288,146 t and down 46% from November’s 426,256 t, according to data supplied by China’s Bureau of Statistics.

Sluggish overseas demand for Chinese CRC has persisted since quarter four last year and so export volumes are expected to stay low in February-March, exporters tell Steel Business Briefing. However, CRC export prices have started to increase on the back of rising hot rolled coil export prices. Chinese dealers believe the rising prices will help to improve poor buying activity for CRC.

 

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