Chinese plate exporters kept lowering prices amid slow demand abroad and ongoing competition with foreign suppliers. However, the pace of decrease slowed down due to relatively firm local prices and buying activity.
Most large plate exporters from China reduced their plate offers by $5/t to$440‑450/t FOB for December shipment last week, since overseas customers' interest in bookings remained tepid. But they have been keeping prices flat this weekamid local quotes stabilization and continuous decline of traders' stockpiles. A fewdeals for Chinese plate were registered in Southeast Asia and South America at$440‑445/t FOB during the last two weeks, insiders say.
Weak demand for Chinese product was partially attributed to the lasting competition with South Korean suppliers, who were offering plate at about $430‑435/t FOBthis week, according to participants. As it was reported, the competitors’ priceswere mainly $10/t below the offers of Chinese exporters in October. Chinese plate is not in high demand in the region now because prices have lost their attractiveness, a trading source told Metal Expert.
Nevertheless, exporters from China are expected to hold their offers despite buyers' pressure as long as domestic demand remains sufficient. Last week, steelmakers' and traders' plate inventories dropped by 4.3% and 2.8% respectively.