Asian plate recovers on higher offers, deals

Asian plate prices rose this week on higher Chinese offers and deal levels, as Chinese mills remained firm on their price positions amid a strong domestic market.

S&P Global Platts assessed Q235/SS400 grade 12-25 mm thick plate, or equivalent, at $560/mt CFR East Asia Wednesday, up by $3/mt on week.

A major northeastern China-based mill released its June shipment plate offer at $550/mt FOB China on Wednesday. Offers from other Chinese steelmakers were up by around $5-$10/mt week on week at $550-$560/mt FOB China for June shipment.

In South Korea, Chinese offers went up this week to $565-$570/mt CFR. However, Korean buyers remained on the sidelines, with scarce buying interest heard in the market.

"Chinese offers increased by $5/mt this week, and buyers are not interested in Chinese material these days. We haven't been trading Chinese plate for weeks already," said a Korean trader.

Elsewhere, a deal was reported done at $580/mt CFR Vietnam for June shipment this week for A572 grade plate, equivalent to $560/mt CFR Vietnam for SS400 grade plate, according to an eastern-China-based trader. Meanwhile, trading activity in Vietnam was expected to be slower in May and June as the monsoon season usually dampens steel demand.

-- Fay Gao