Lower Japan Plate Price for South Korea Shipbuilders

Japanese integrated steel makers apparently agreed with South Korean shipbuilders to reduce steel plate price to around US$ 700 per tonne for January-March shipment. The price decreased to less than US$ 800 in October-December from US$ 800 or more in July-September while the price was around US$ 900 in April-June. Some Chinese steel makers offered US$ 650 or less for January-March under plate production capacity expansion by steel makers in South Korea and other countries in Asia. Japanese integrated steels reduced the price to meet the shipbuilders’ requirement for lower price.

Some steel makers offered US$ 30-50 per tonne higher plate export price for the shipbuilders for January-March shipment than the price in October-December. However, the supply got loose under steel makers’ capacity expansion in Asia and world slow demand. The price decreased especially in and after autumn of 2011.

Japanese integrated steels seek higher plate export price for April-June shipment when plate market price increased by US$ 10-20 in Asia. The integrated steels focus on price improvement even with lower volume to improve profitability.