SÃO PAULO China has again raised export offer prices for flat steel products to South American buyers following other increases implemented throughout January, regional market sources told AMM sister publication Steel First.
Chinese mills are now offering hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil to South America for as much as $705 per tonne c.f.r. and $745 per tonne c.f.r., respectively, for late March/April shipment, trading sources and steel buyers said. This is up from $670 to $680 per tonne and $695 to $730 per tonne c.f.r., respectfully, in mid-January.
Hot-dipped galvanized coil offers have also risen to about $815 per tonne c.f.r. from $790 per tonne previously, sources said.
The new levels are seen as generally uncompetitive by traders and steel buyers in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.
"China is offering prices above the reference levels," one trader in Chile said.
A steel buyer in Argentina agreed. "Offers from Japan and (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries are more competitive in the region now," he said.
A source at a Ukrainian mill said his company closed hot-rolled coil sales to South America at $630 per tonne c.f.r. or less during January.
One Russian steelmaker also reportedly sold "several cargoes" to a number of Latin American nations, including Brazil, as offers from China were deemed too high.
Ana Paula Camargo contributed to this story. A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.