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Asian stainless CRC retreats amid uncertain sentiment

Friday, 13 August 2021

Asian stainless cold-rolled coil prices fell in the week to Aug. 13, while buyers retreated to the sidelines amid uncertain sentiment with price corrections seen in the Chinese market, sources said.

S&P Global Platts assessed 304 grade 2 mm 2B stainless CRC at $3,100/mt CFR East and Southeast Asian ports on Aug. 13, down $20/mt on the week.

Nickel prices remained above $19,000/mt, which supported the market from the cost side. The official nickel cash price on the London Metal Exchange settled at $19,540/mt on Aug. 12, up $261/mt week on week.

The Chinese domestic market continued to correct during the week, after the surge seen in July, as buyers hesitated to book after sharp rallies amid the slow summer season, sources said. But the spot market started to stabilize late in the week when some buyers retuned to the market, market sources said. Spot market prices in southern China fell by some Yuan 400-700 week on week by Aug. 13.

But Chinese exporters were not active in offering, as buyers preferred to book when the outlook becomes more clear, said a Chinese trader. The Offer level for 304 CRC for immediate delivery should be at $3,000-$3,100/mt FOB, he said.

Exporters were afraid of the potential export duty on steel products in China, and the policy remained uncertain, sources said.

The most actively-traded August stainless steel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was at Yuan 18,240/mt ($2,814/mt) on Aug. 13, down Yuan 774/mt, or 4.1%, on the week.


-- Analyst Yuelin Dai

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