Research

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

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October 2019 | Stainless Steels


Signs of weakness notably in plate, may well spread: Asian Highlights


The dramatic decline in Chinese HR exports, which relates in part to a collapse in Chinese imports, notably from Indonesia, in turn creating more competition in China’s export markets, is likely to put further pressure on HR prices.

Chinese spot prices for cold-rolled (CR) 304 coil (2mm, 2B finish) have stabilized during the past month, despite reductions in spot prices of key stainless raw materials within China. According to assessments of the Wuxi market, the CR304 benchmark remained at an average of RMB15,850 per tonne in the week ending October 25, though given the appreciation in the Chinese yuan, prices rose further in US dollar terms by $15 per tonne excluding tax. Appreciation had only a limited effect on Chinese conversion margins, which rose more strongly in to $517 per tonne, a recovery of $63 per tonne month on month. As the chart shows, the gains were primarily due to a reduction in nickel values, of approximately $40 per tonne of stainless 304 and a further decline of $7 per tonne in Chinese ferrochrome. Falling ferrochrome prices and an appreciating yuan helped ferritic suppliers raise their implied conversion...

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