FOCUS: China’s dominance wanes in Asian stainless steel market amid intense price competition

Asian stainless steel participants are increasingly looking to Taiwan and Indonesia as the region’s new price-setters, while Chinese exporters struggle to catch up in the heated price war, participants told Fastmarkets MB.

Competition among suppliers in the region has intensified in recent months amid lackluster demand, growing pessimism and the increased availability of cheap substrate triggered by China’s ongoing anti-dumping investigation. East Asian stainless steel prices have plummeted to a 15-month low as a result of the continual downtrend. Fastmarkets’ MB weekly import price assessment of 304 stainless 2mm trimmed cold-rolled coil was $2,030-2,100 per tonne cif East Asia on November 7.  The stainless CRC assessment is currently at its lowest since August 2 last year, when it stood at $1,920-1,950 per tonne cif. Meanwhile, Fastmarkets MB’ weekly import price assessment for 304 stainless trimmed hot-rolled coil was $1,850-1,970 per tonne cif East Asia on November 7, down $10-40 per tonne week on week.  New price leaders “The Asian market used to always follow prices from China’s major mills,” a trader in Southeast Asia said. “But now Taiwan and Indonesia are setting the benchmark with even more aggressive pricing than...

Published

Fiona Lam

November 08, 2018

09:00 GMT

Singapore