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CRC import prices dip in weak SE Asian market - 24 July 2012

The import market for cold rolled coil in Southeast Asia continues to falter with prices coming down by $20-40/tonne in the past month. Offer prices for Chinese-origin annealed 1mm base CRC have fallen to $650-660/t fob depending on mill, trading sources said. Chinese offer prices were at $670-680/t fob in mid-June.

Some lower-priced export offers are also heard in the market at $620-630/t fob. “Mills have no orders, so they have to lower prices,” a Chinese trader said on these low numbers.

Offers for CRC from Taiwan are prevailing at $670-680/t fob, down from $710/t fob in mid-June. “Nobody is buying," a trader in Singapore agreed.

"Market demand is low," another trader said. With many countries observing Ramadan and accompanying holidays, he expected prices to slide by another $20-30/t in coming months. The weak construction industry has dampened CRC demand. He expected a pick-up in December at the earliest.

"Re-rollers are now cutting output because they are using high-priced inputs. They would be selling small orders to regular buyers," said a Malaysian trader, noting that in a falling market, the re-roller is at a disadvantage and would have his margins squeezed.

Import prices into SE Asia for 1mm hot-dip galvanized from China are similarly depressed. New offers from China are as low as $650/t fob which traders observed are lower-priced than Taiwanese CRC. Chinese HDG prices were at $690-700/t fob a month ago. "It would take 1-2 months for the market to get better. This year could be more difficult than 2008," a Chinese trader said.

 

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