The market prices of steel plates for general use in the Asian region seem to have dropped by around USD 20 in the past month from mid-December.
As it is not felt to hit a bottom, there is a strong observation for them to fall further. Many of negotiations on general use plates for projects which had been undertaken over a period of 1 to 2 months have been suspended and even in cases of concluded negotiations, orders is said to have been cancelled.
Seeing offer prices from the beginning of this month, China's prices are said to be USD 470 CFR with a tensile strength of 40kg/mm2 for the Philippines and also USD 470 CFR with that of 50kg/mm2 for Vietnam. Korea is reported to be still proceeding with negotiations at USD 540 CFR for Hong Kong and so on.
Prices of PT Krakatau POSCO in Indonesia are uncertain for Southeast Asia but a Japanese mill source presumes to be USD 500 or so.
In Taiwan, as CSC provides a price incentive (discount) to main customers, it is said to be subtle whether orders will be concluded at around USD 500 CFR.
Anyway, offer prices have been lowered by USD 20 or so from mid-December last year. It is subtle whether orders would be concluded at this level of prices. It is because it is common for customers to request further decrease in prices if suppliers show an active stance to sell. Customers are likely to anticipate further price fall and to place orders with a minimum quantity even on a spot purchase basis.
The Japanese mills are in a state to be unable to reach for general use plates for the Asian market. It is because prices are too cheap. Prices of steel H-beams and sheet piles for construction related to plates are likely to be also falling by more than USD 20 across the board. It is reported that China's offer prices of sheet piles fall to the level of USD 540 CFR and those of H-beams are USD 570 CFR.