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Market divided over Baosteel price increase - 13 February 2012

Baosteel has lifted most flats prices by RMB 100-200/tonne for March, it announced Friday (10 February). Market sources believe other leading mills, such as Anshan Iron & Steel, Wuhan Iron & Steel, and Shougang will follow suit.

Baosteel lifted March list prices for hot rolled coil and cold rolled coil by RMB 150/t and for hot dip galvanized coil by RMB 100/t. Its SS400 5.5mm thick HRC price rises to RMB 4,762/tonne ($757/t), while SPCC 1.0mm thick CRC is now offered at RMB 5,366/t and 1.0mm DC51D+Z HDG at RMB 5,297/t.

The price of its Q235 14-20mm thick plate remains unchanged from February levels at RMB 4,450/t. All prices exclude 17% VAT.

Baosteel also raised prices of pickled HRC and non-oriented grain silicon by RMB 200/t, electro-galvanized coil and zinc-aluminum coated products by RMB 100/t, and colour-coated coil by RMB 150/t.

Traders surveyed by Steel Business Briefing said the market is cool to Baosteel’s announcement and that the rise was in line with expectations. Spot HRC and CRC prices in Shanghai were mostly unchanged from the previous day Friday.

However, market participants remain divided in their outlook for March. Some are optimistic believing end-users will restock in late-February after the Lunar New Year. Market prices will trend-up and support higher mill list prices, they suggest.

Others are cautious, noting that demand is yet to recover. Rising market inventories could sabotage Baosteel’s attempts to boost sluggish market sentiment, they suggest.


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