China’s H-beam export prices have fallen so far this week amid thin trading.

Transactions for boron-containing, small and medium-sized H-beam were at $540-550 per tonne fob on Thursday May 30 for July shipment, down $5 per tonne from a week earlier.

Base export offers for July shipment product are also down $5 per tonne over the same period to $555-560 per tonne fob.

“There were very few transactions this week. We are short of orders,” an export director for a steelmaker in Hebei province told Metal Bulletin sister title Steel First. He is even prepared to lower export prices further for August shipment. They are expected to be announced in early June.

A source at an east China-based steelmaker also reported slow business.

“The drop in export orders and large domestic price decrease are bringing about a lot of sales pressure,” he mentioned.

China’s domestic H-beam market continued to soften this week, in line with the lower export prices.

Domestic prices for 200x200mm H-beam were at 3,520-3,600 yuan ($569-582) per tonne in Shanghai on Thursday, down 30-70 yuan per tonne week-on-week.

Cheaper semi-finished products are allowing H-beam producers to reduce prices again.

In Tangshan, billet changed hands at 2,930 yuan per tonne on Thursday, down from 3,080 yuan per tonne a week earlier.

editorial@steelfirst.com