JFE Steel Offers Hot Coil Export Price Hike by US$ 50 to Asia

JFE Steel started export price hike negotiation for hot rolled coil shipment in September-October mainly with the spot users in Southeast Asia and China. The firm aims price hike by US$ 50 per tonne. Asian steel sheet market is unsteady due to anti-inflation policies in several countries while local supply-demand balance is recently improving. JFE Steel plans to reduce export volume by 15-20% compared with the ordinary level and shows a price-focused attitude.

Asian steel sheet market price has weakened since May. The market was mainly impacted by Chinese steel output and export expansion. Meanwhile, iron ore and coal prices increased largely for April-June and regional steel makers became suffered from worse profitability. Especially, Japanese steel makers are concerned on too strong yen exchange rate and forced to improve their export profitability as soon as possible.

East Asian steel makers are currently moving into price hike. In China, Bao Iron & Steel raised steel product prices for domestic market in September. The price hike was launched for 2 months in a row. Wuhan Iron & Steel and Anshan Iron & Steel announced the price hike, too. Taiwanese largest steel maker, China Steel announced price hike against domestic market for October-November. Local market trend is obviously changing.

Chinese hot coil export is said to be decreasing in Asia. Steel users’ inventories seem to be decreasing to the decent level in Southeast Asia. In Middle-Near East and West Asia, steel demand is expected to upturn after Ramadan. The supply and demand balance is gradually improving.