Asian hot-rolled coil prices were stable on May 4, as market activity was quiet with China away on holiday, while CRC and plate prices fell on weak import demand.
Platts assessed SS400 HRC 3 mm thick at $815/mt FOB China, unchanged from April 29, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was unchanged over the same period at $801/mt.
Trading activity was muted as buyers awaited the return of China to better gauge current market conditions.
Market participants held mixed views on prices, with some bearish given the worsening pandemic situation in Beijing and as lockdowns remained in Shanghai. However, over the holidays, there was a slight increase in domestic prices in northern China, according to some sources.
“People will wait 1 or 2 days after the [Labor Day] holidays to see market before buying,” said a Vietnam-based trader source. “For now, no one will buy big quantity even if prices reach $800/mt CFR Vietnam, may be bigger international buyers can, but local company is waiting for prices to fall further.”
“Two months ago market was good, but now local buyers who imported from China cannot sell. So now they are reducing price and end-users waiting for prices to fall. For [the past month], few buyers looking to buy,” said a Vietnam-based stockist.
In Shanghai, the spot price of Q235 5.5 mm HRC was assessed at Yuan 4,960/mt ($755.77/mt) ex-stock, including value added tax, unchanged from April 29.
Separately, SAE1006 HRC was assessed at $855/mt FOB China, unchanged from April 29. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was assessed at $844/mt, unchanged over the same period.
Meanwhile, the weekly SPCC grade 1 mm thick CRC was assessed at $895/mt FOB China on May 4, down $4/mt from April 26. The spread between the export price of CRC and commercial-grade HRC was $80/mt.