Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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February 2019 | Stainless Steels

Prices rise but only temporarily: Asian Highlights

In China, the downturn in stainless flat-rolled exports has continued. Last year, overall volumes fell 3% to 3.1 million tonnes (Mt) thanks largely to a fall in thick (>3mm) hot-rolled coil (HRC), otherwise known as plate in coil.

As we expected in January, stainless prices across Asia have been rising through February in a heady combination of rising demand but also rising raw materials prices. That’s the justification given by YUSCO, for example, for a NT$3,500 per tonne rise ($115/tonne) on 300 series flat-rolled prices in Taiwan and a NT$500 per tonne rise on 400 series material. Export quotes have been raised by between $120-160 per tonne and $30-50 per tonne respectively. Local wire rod producer Walsin Lihwa, meanwhile, has put the full NT$3,500 per tonne hike for next month’s shipments on the raw materials alone though they admit that scrap gains have been limited to NT$3,000 per tonne.

In China, the downturn in stainless...


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