China logs record as most hot-rolled band prices rise

Dec 12, 2007 | 02:06 PM | Michael Cowden

Hot band spot prices have surged in China, likely in response to the country's booming economy, one analyst said.

Spot prices also have increased in the United States and the world export market, but showed signs of weakness in Western Europe, according to the latest SteelBenchmarker report.

"It's the usual factors Things are slow in Europe, they're hot in China and there is no supply in the United States," independent steel analyst Nicholas Tolerico said.

In China, prices jumped $30 (6 percent) in the past two weeks to a record $529 a tonne, ex works. The move, the third consecutive gain, marked the highest level seen since SteelBenchmarker was launched last year, exceeding this year's low of $402 a tonne logged July 9 by $127 (31.6 percent).

Chinese prices move quickly in the short term due to a wide variety of factors, including freight rates, construction schedules and even holidays, Tolerico said. But there is no question that the Chinese economy is booming, growing at roughly 10 percent a year, he added. "Since 2002, they've added the equivalent of the U.S. steel industry every year for five years in a row."....





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