NEW YORK Large amounts of
Chinese cold-rolled sheet hit U.S. shores in October at their
lowest prices in more than a year.
The average value of imported
Chinese cold-rolled sheet was $682 per tonne in October, U.S.
Import Administration data show, down 3.6 percent from the
prior low of $708 in May. Prices appeared to be drifting lower
this month, with data through Nov. 8 showing an average value
of $645 per tonne.
Traders have said that Chinese
cold-rolled offers have been increasingly competitive, priced
below the typically lower-cost hot-rolled sheet (
amm.com, Sept. 5). Market sources said that
material can be obtained for around $650 to $665 per ton into
the Northeast, citing Chinas slowing demand and
But much of that traction has
given way, as U.S. prices fell last week to some $700 per ton
f.o.b. Midwest mill from $775 per ton in September. Traders
said that the recent price hikes might again help increase the
"Business has been about the
same. Were booking small orders that people buy on a
regular basis. Were looking at the price increases and
hoping that a big chunk of it will be realizedespecially
with the stormand that will raise market level prices,"
one trader said. "Everyone is losing money. The Chinese are
losing money. The Europeans need help."
Some 94,721 tonnes of
cold-rolled sheet hit U.S. shores in October, up from 88,358
tonnes in September. China accounted for 17,532 tonnes of last
months total, making it the second-largest supplier,
compared with just 2,357 tonnes in September. And while
Chinas October licenses didnt surpass the
27,572-tonne total seen in August, the average unit value was
much lower last month.
"Everyone is so afraid to buy
anything right now," a second trader said. "The Chinese are a
factor. But they havent sold a zillion tons, and
theyre only a factor on the coasts."
Markets are slumped and people
are afraid to buy before year-end, a third trader said.