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Plate buyers press for lower prices in Singapore - 27 January 2012

Market activity for imported shipbuilding plate in Singapore has stayed lacklustre this month with offer prices from China last quoted at $685/tonne cfr. Bookings last month took place at $670/t cfr, trading sources report.

Importers, who were already quiet in December, continue to stay on the sidelines because they want to pay lower prices. “Demand is very weak. Some are aiming to book at below at $650/t cfr,” a Singapore trader tells Steel Business Briefing. His offers at under $670/t cfr went awry with no takers, he tells SBB.

Ukrainian ship plate was offered at $680-690/t cfr in early January. “There were no done deals for ship plate. It’s been very quiet,” another trader tells SBB. He has not heard of recent offers from Ukraine.

A trader reasons that the market’s sloth is due to the closeness between the calendar year-end and Lunar New Year holidays: “The demand will come back next month when people are more settled.”

Traders expect the Chinese mills to raise their offer prices for ship plate in tandem with rising prices of hot rolled coil in international markets. Offer prices could rise by $20-30/t, they predict.


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