“Both domestic and global demand for steel plate is healthy, and we expect that there will continue to be limited supply for both local and export customers,” the source said.
Plate export prices out of Japan are expected to remain high in 2019 in line with the limited supply, despite instances of weak fundamentals in other parts of Asia.
“Japanese steel plate producers do not need to follow lower prices, such as those out of China, because Japanese producers have limited export allocations,” the source said.
Demand in Southeast Asia is also largely stable, and Japanese mills are not in urgent need to offload steel plate at lower prices.
“Furthermore, some traders were short-selling plate cargoes very aggressively to reduce their inventories for year-end audits, so some of the plate prices...