China plate producers raised their export offers in the past week in the wake of active trading.
*** price assessment for December/January China plate
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for December/January shipments of steel heavy plate export, fob China main port, was $515-520 per tonne for the week ended Tuesday October 27, up by $5 per tonne from $510-515 per tonne fob for the week prior.
A Zhejiang-based trader told Fastmarkets that a Hong Kong-registered trading house bought approximately 5,000 tonnes of plate from a northern China-based mill at around $515 per tonne fob late last week, with the goods to be further sold to South America.
While at that time most traders could get $515 per tonne fob from some major mills as the lowest level, such a price was no longer available after another trading house booked around 1,000 tonnes of plate from the same mill at a base price of $520 per tonne fob for A36 grade.
This second deal was also said to be for delivery to South America.
“After that deal, the mill wouldn’t agree to sell below $520 per tonne fob,” the Zhejiang-based trader said.
Some other mills followed suit, making $520 per tonne fob the lowest acceptable level in the Chinese market now, he added.
Although a second northern China-based mill was still accepting as low as $515 per tonne fob, the mill could not provide all the specifications needed by buyers, market sources told Fastmarkets.
“Trading with South America in the past week was active,” the Zhejiang-based trader said.
That helped offset the lack of orders from Southeast Asia and motivated China plate producers to ask for higher prices, a Shanghai-based trader said.
He also believes mills would insist on high offers this week, considering most of them are already sold out of December-delivery cargoes.
A source at the first northern China-based mill said they would not accept prices below $520 per tonne fob this week, while a source at a third northern China-based mill said they will offer $530 per tonne fob this week.
Plate prices in China’s domestic market also edged up this past week.
*** price assessment for China plate in east
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for China plate domestic, delivered whs eastern China was 3,960-3,990 yuan ($590-595) per tonne last Friday, widening upward by 10 yuan per tonne from 3,960-3,980 yuan per tonne for the week prior.
A Guangzhou-based trader said the domestic plate market was stable in the past week with supply and demand largely balanced.
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