China’s H-beam producers cut export prices to boost sales

Chinese H-beam export offers dipped this week as steelmakers made cuts in a bid to boost sales.

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Base H-beam export offers are now at $570-580 per tonne fob, down $10 per tonne from the $580-590 per tonne fob level last week.

Prevailing export prices for boron-containing, small and medium-sized H-beam for January shipment are in the $560-565 per tonne fob range, down $10-15 per tonne per tonne for the week.

“We reduced export offers a little to push for more sales since overseas buyers didn’t make that many purchases previously when prices were higher,” an export director with Shandong Steel said.

There has been a small increase in exports this week at the latest price levels, he added.

But it is hard to push up export prices at the moment.

Shandong Steel is not getting any profit from overseas sales as H-beam has to be sold at $590 per tonne fob to break even, the export director said.

An export manager with Maanshan Steel said keen competition among Chinese steelmakers is also helping to lower prices.

Several small steelmakers as well as private ones, such as Rizhao Steel, have been selling H-beam at low prices, forcing others to give discounts to compete for business.

Furthermore, prices and sales volumes in China’s domestic H-beam market also appear to have softened this week, making steelmakers less confident about maintaining high export prices.

In Shanghai, 200x200mm H-beam were traded at 3,630-3,780 yuan ($579-603) per tonne on Thursday November 15, unchanged from a day earlier but 20 yuan per tonne lower than last week.