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Sluggish demand leaves H-beam import prices lower in SE Asia - 21 November 2011

Prices of H-beams from East Asian mills have fallen by $20-30/tonne in Southeast Asia in tandem with weaker market sentiment.

Some bookings for small quantities of Taiwanese imperial-size base S275 beams took place last week at $820/t cfr Southeast Asia. Offers in Singapore are prevailing at $820-830/t cfr (depending on origin) compared to October’s bookings at around $850/t cfr.

Demand is weak in Singapore because of the recent strengthening of the greenback against the Singapore dollar and the gloomy global economic outlook, trading sources in Singapore tell Steel Business Briefing.

"Some mills will try to push up prices on the back of rising raw materials prices," a Taiwanese trader says. He believes that transaction prices will move towards mills' expectations.

In Vietnam, the market is weaker and prices of H-beams have slipped more significantly to below $800/t cfr. “Low-priced Chinese beams have caused the market to soften,” a regional trader tells SBB. Metric-sized senior beams were offered at $780/t cfr Ho Chi Minh City last week.

Chinese boron-added 150-350mm beams were recently booked at $690-700/t cfr, down from last month’s $710/t cfr. Tightened credit measures continue to affect the business. “Some of my customers are unable to open letters of credit,” a Chinese trader says.

 

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