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Weak demand sinks China's H-beam export prices

Keywords: Tags  H-beams, steel beams, China beams, Chinese exports, beam exports, beam prices, steel billet

SHANGHAI — China’s H-beam export market has slumped on thin trade, shedding $20 per tonne over the past week.

Transactions for boron-containing, small- and medium-sized H-beams were trading at $560 to $570 per tonne f.o.b. May 2 for shipment in June, down from $580 to $590 per tonne f.o.b. a week ago.

Base export offers for the product also dropped $15 per tonne over the same period to $575 to $580 per tonne f.o.b. for June shipment.

"Export orders for June are lower than those for May shipment, and export prices have just fallen again," an export director at a steelmaker in China’s Shandong province told AMM sister publication Steel First.

Bookings have only been for small quantities of cargoes at the moment, the export director noted.

Another steelmaker in Tangshan, in northern China, also reported weak sales.

"Business is thin and most overseas buyers are not even placing bids, as they expect even lower prices in the coming weeks," an export manager at the steelmaker said.

Falling billet costs have also contributed to the decrease in H-beam export prices, exporters said.

Tangshan billet was changing hands at 3,150 yuan ($507) per tonne May 2, down from 3,200 yuan ($515) per tonne a week earlier.

"Export prices for H-beams could face additional downward pressure if prices for raw materials such as iron ore and coke fall further," a trader in Shanghai added.

China’s domestic H-beam prices also softened this week, with prices for H-beams in 200- by 200-millimeter sizes at 3,690 to 3,790 yuan ($594 to $610) per tonne in Shanghai, down 10 yuan ($2) from a week ago.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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