Lower Chinese prices build barrier to imports

Nov 05, 2004 | 08:18 AM |

Imported steel prices held steady in China during the first week of November, mainly due to pressure from the significantly lower prices being offered by domestic mills for similar products, according to Chinese traders.

"Imported billets into China stand around $400 per tonne cfr (cost and freight)," a Shanghai-based billet and slab trader said. "Chinese customers will be willing to pay $360 to $370 per tonne but are not going to accept that."

During the last week of October, billets imported into China were quoted at $400 to $420 a tonne cfr.

China's domestic billet prices are around 3,400 yuan to 3,600 yuan ($410 to $436) a tonne with value-added tax (VAT) included. VAT is around 17 percent for steel products, according to a trader in Ningbo City, Zhejiang province. Consequently, if the VAT charges are excluded, domestically produced billets are selling in the Chinese market for the equivalent of $351 to $372 a tonne at present exchange rates.....

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