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Chinese plate export price steady after losing $20-30/t - 13 June 2012

Export prices for Chinese 20mm thick boron-added commodity-grade plate have stabilised at about $600/tonne fob on slightly better demand. Chinese market sources maintained that these prices are close to bottom.

“Export prices for these plates have settled over the past two weeks after price drops earlier,” a sales official from a steel mill in east China said, citing a slight improvement in demand, especially from South America. Sales to the European market remain quiet.

The mill is offering at $610-615/t fob for 20mm plates, but actual transaction prices have been lower, the official admitted without specifying a price.

Other plate exporters also noted that prices have steadied after declines in late May and early June, reporting that present transaction prices for such plates are about $600/t fob, down $20-30/t prior to the decline.

Demand from South America for flat products such as cold rolled coil, coated sheets and plates has been comparatively better recently, said a Shanghai-based steel exporter dealing mostly with trading houses rather than end-users.

Export prices for these plates are expected to hover around $600/t fob as this is close to bottom for the major Chinese steel mills, a second Shanghai-based steel trader added. Chinese traders do not expect plate export prices to rebound in the near term given the pessimism surrounding the global economy and the seasonal low in demand in China during July-August.

 

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