China’s H-beam prices fall on weak market

China’s H-beam market softened this week on lower ex-works prices from steelmakers and flagging export trade.

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In Shanghai, prices for 200x200mm H-beam were in the range 3,610-3,700 yuan ($572-586) per tonne on Monday July 23, down 50 yuan from last Friday’s prices, and 160 yuan lower than prices two weeks ago.

Price cuts by major steelmakers have deflated market sentiment.

Laiwu Steel announced this morning that it was reducing its H-beam prices by 230 yuan per tonne. Its latest price for 200x200mm product is at 3,800 yuan per tonne.

“The weak sales both home and abroad has led to further decreases in H-beam prices,” a sales official with Shandong Steel said,

Monthly export volume has dropped more than by half, though export prices have dropped accordingly, she added.

Export prices for boron-containing small and medium-sized H-beam are at $560-590 per tonne fob for September shipment, widening from $580-590 fob previously.

Small and private steelmakers are selling at prices as low as $560-570 per tonne fob due to lower costs and inferior quality.

Most steelmakers are expected to set their export prices for October shipment in the first week of August, sources said.