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

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March 2019 | Stainless Steels

Downturn resumes in China, production under pressure: Asian Highlights

The traditional discount for Chinese CR sheet in Asian import markets has been widening since the early January parity and in the final week of March exceeded $120 per tonne according to our calculations; the largest discount since September 2018.

In China, the downturn in stainless steel exports has continued, in contrast to carbon and alloy steels, which recovered 13% year-on-year during the first two months. Last year, as we recorded one month ago, volumes of the key product, stainless HR coil above 3mm thick and 600mm wide, fell 17% to 1.26Mt. This downturn in HRC, which was primarily a function of the emergence of Indonesia as a rival Asian exporter, was partially offset by higher plate volumes, both in hot and cold form and a large surge in cold-rolled sheet (CRS) of 12% to 1.24Mt. January and now February data shows that the overall year-on-year decline in flat-rolled exports continues and at an accelerating rate. Though CRS volumes fell more than 19% through the period, having declined more sharply...


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