plate export market saw little movement this week as
steelmakers held the line to avoid further losses.
commercial-grade boron-containing plate were in the range of
$535 to $545 per tonne f.o.b. for June shipment on April 24,
unchanged from a week earlier.
Base export offers for the
product held steady over the same period at $550 to $555 per
tonne f.o.b. for June shipment.
Prices are unlikely to fall
further in the short term because mills are unwilling to export
at levels below production costs.
"We cannot absorb any further
losses," a Tianjin-area export manager said. Producers are more
likely to schedule maintenance or even stop production than cut
prices, he added.
Three steelmakers in northern
China have already suspended part of their production lines,
according to market sources.
"We could break even if base
export prices would rise to $570 per tonne f.o.b.," an export
director with a steelmaker in eastern China said. He warned
that lower sales prices might even lead to bankruptcy.
Chinas domestic plate prices dropped again this week.
In Shanghai, 14- to 20-millimeter plate was trading at 3,770 to
3,790 yuan ($610 to $613) per tonne April 24, down 60 to 70
yuan ($10 to $11) per tonne week on week.
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel