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WEEKLY: China steel export prices up further, sales up

China’s steel export prices continued to rise over the past week and transaction volume grew, mainly due to the steadily narrowing price gap with the Chinese mill competitors in the international steel market, according to Mysteel’s latest weekly survey.

Over September 5-11, China’s export offering prices of SS400 4.75mm hot-rolled coil (HRC) increased by another $4/tonne on week to $521/t FOB North China’s Tianjin port, while the B500B 18-25mm rebar offering price increased by $2/t on week too, climbing to $487/t FOB Zhangjiagang port, East China, according to Mysteel’s price assessment, all averages from price ranges.

The export prices of DX51D+Z 1mm hot-dipped galvanized steel sheet (GI) and SPCC 1mm cold-rolled coil (CRC) increased at a faster pace of $13/t and $19/t on week to $637/t and $591/t FOB Tianjin port in North China respectively, propelled upwards by more robust buying.

“GI and CRC demand woke up earlier (than that of the other products). Products with higher added value are easier to sell (abroad), as some countries don’t have HDG and color-coating capacities,” a Shanghai-based steel analyst commented.

She also noted that some HRC was sold at $540/t CFR Vietnam last week, and export volumes had been recovering gradually, now that the price gaps have narrowed.

On September 11, the China-origin SAE1006 HRC was offered at $540-542/t CFR Vietnam, while on the same day, India’s SAE1006 HRC was offered at $550/t on the same basis, Mysteel data shows.

Last Friday, Formosa Ha Tinh (FHS), Vietnam’s largest integrated steel mill, announced to raise its HRC offering prices sharply by $45-50/t from last month to $545-550/t (non-skin pass) and $550-555/t (skin pass) CIF Vietnam for November 20 deliveries, the mill’s fourth price hike since June, Mysteel Global noted.

In contrast to the pickup in the global market, China’s domestic steel prices have been in downward correction due to slower-than-expected domestic sales, and as of September 11, China’s national Q235 4.75mm HRC price assessed by Mysteel had retreated Yuan 55/t ($8/t) on week to Yuan 3,978/t including the 13% VAT, as reported.

Written by Olivia Zhang, zhangwd@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com