Chinas plate export prices rose further in the past week amid steady buying from Southeast Asia.
*** China’s plate , steel heavy plate
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for January shipments of steel heavy plate export, fob China main port was $540-550 per tonne for the week ended Tuesday November 24, up by $10 per tonne from $530-540 per tonne fob a week earlier.
A Hong Kong-based trader said he bought 1,000-3,000 tonnes of plate from a mill in northern China last week at around $540 per tonne fob. He is selling these to a Southeast Asian country, he said.
A Jiangsu-based trader said several mills in China were willing to sell as low as around $540 per tonne fob early last week, but by Friday most of them could not accept anything below $550 per tonne fob.
He believes that is because mills are looking to maximize their margins, with buyers being willing to pay high prices. A strong domestic market in China also motivated mills to raise their export offers, he said. A Zhejiang-based trader said he had booked some plate from a second mill in northern China at $550 per tonne fob in the second half of last week. He too is selling these to Southeast Asia.
He said that while South American buyers accounted for a lot of the buying activity for Chinese plate 2-3 weeks ago, he did not conclude any deals involving such buyers last week. Instead, he received more bids from Southeast Asia, he said.
*** Chinas plate
Market participants are bullish about global demand for Chinas plate with steel-consuming sectors in many countries experiencing a recovery. The Hong Kong-based trader said both Southeast Asia and South America are focusing more on economic development now that citizens in these regions are accustomed to measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
A source in South America said countries such as Brazil was even reporting rapid economic recovery. This leads buyers to “rush to secure steel from China before sellers raise their prices,” the source said.
***domestic steel plate
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for Chinas plate domestic, delivered whs eastern China was 4,040-4,080 yuan ($614-620) per tonne last Friday, up by 20-40 yuan per tonne from 4,020-4,040 yuan per tonne a week earlier.
An Anhui-based trader said that the price growth for Chinese plate was quite small compared with other flat steel products such as cold-rolled coil. But he added that overall demand for plate in the domestic market last week was robust due to positive sentiment generated by rising ferrous futures.
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