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Japan's CR stainless steel mills hold out at USD 2,500 FOB - TEX

TEX reported that in the Asian region, Korean and Taiwanese mills seem to be proceeding with negotiations on cold rolled austenitic stainless steel sheets at USD 2,500 CFR and at the time of a contract, such case seems to be increasing that they reduce their prices slightly to the level of USD 2,400 CFR.

Against the Japanese mills, a pressure to cut prices is strong but if the LME nickel price maintains the current level (around USD 6.80 per pound), they see to be able to maintain the level of USD 2,500 FOB by selecting orders.

On the market prices of stainless sheets in the Asian region, the progress of an antidumping investigation against Chinese and Taiwanese stainless sheets begins to have an impact. Offer prices of the major stainless sheet mills of China like Baoshan Iron & Steel and Taiyuan Iron & Steel in the Southeast Asian region are said to be appearing.

There is a possibility that on the alert for an affirmative determination on that case, they are shifting to Asia. Taiwan's export quantity of CR stainless sheets to Japan begins to show a trend to increase largely. After all, its purpose is seen to increase its export in the Asian region because they have to limit their export to Europe.

European mills that are likely to shut out China and Taiwan seem to have demonstrated a willingness to increase their export quantity to Southeast Asia. A Japanese source related to stainless steel is observing that they are to clear inventory in the Asian region before the Christmas holidays. Their price of products to SUS304 for Asia is USD 2,500 CFR, which is reported to be cheaper than prices in Europe by around USD 200.

Under the situation, the export environment of stainless sheets is worsening in Asia. It is of a problem that the situation for the Japanese mills to have to move export negotiations into full gear is coming close.

In the past, they have been unnecessary to export forcedly CR austenitic stainless sheets owing to the brisk demand for the domestic market. However, the domestic demand is decreasing.

Sooner or later, an environment is likely to change, and they will have to cover a decreased portion for the domestic market by export. They are to embark on export when the export market is worst. They say that the price level of USD 2,500 FOB is still profitable amid the depreciated yen.