SHANGHAI Chinas steel plate export market started to weaken Feb. 27 as transactions slowed and domestic prices declined.
The lull in transactions led prices for commercial-grade, boron-containing plate to drop to $580 to $590 per tonne f.o.b., down $5 from a week earlier, while export offers were in a range of $595 to $605 per tonne f.o.b. for April shipment, down $5 to $10 in the same comparison.
"Steelmakers reduced offers further this week to boost export business," a trader in Shanghai said, adding that previous offers were too high.
Producers are now more flexible with their quotes. "Export prices are negotiable as long as the orders are firm," an export director at Tianjin Sino-sky Steel Trading Co. Ltd. said.
"Transactions were few this week since buyers were either holding back or making low bids," a trader in Tianjin said.
Some buyers in South Korea are still hoping to book material at $570 per tonne f.o.b. or a little lower vs. last weeks bids of $575 to $580, one steelmaker in eastern China said.
Prices in the domestic plate market also have softened. In Shanghai, 14- to 20-millimeter plate was trading at 3,980 to 4,000 yuan ($633 to $636) per tonne Feb. 27, down 10 to 20 yuan from the previous day and 90 to 100 yuan lower than a week earlier.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.