Chinese CRC prices rangebound as buyers finish booking

China's cold-rolled coil export market was largely stable this week as many Chinese mills and overseas buyers finished booking amid rangebound Chinese domestic prices.

S&P Global Platts assessed SPCC grade 1 mm thick CRC at $540/mt FOB China Tuesday, stable week on week. The spread between CRC and commercial grade hot-rolled coil export prices narrowed by $4/mt week on week to $31/mt.

With several Chinese mills sold out for September shipment, a major northeastern China-based mill kept its offer for CRC and CR sheet unchanged on the week at $550/mt and $555/mt FOB China, respectively, for September shipment.

Offers from other Chinese mills still with September shipment material were at around $540-$550/mt FOB China on Tuesday. Offer level for CRC full hard was at around $535/mt FOB China.

A northern China-based mill was heard to have sold out a total of 4,000 mt at $540-$545/mt FOB China last week. Several Chinese traders also indicated small quantity deals concluded at a similar level, which was still repeatable this week.

"I think those mills that are still offering in the market would not want to sell at low prices anyways, so market is relatively stable this week," said an eastern China-based trader.

In the Shanghai dealer market, Platts assessed the same grade of CRC at Yuan 4,260/mt ($619/mt) ex-stock on Tuesday, including VAT, up Yuan 10/mt on the week.

According to market consensus, China domestic CRC inventory level in major cities tumbled week on week until the end of last week. "Current demand for CRC is still thin, but it should pick up gradually towards August," a Shanghai-based trader said.

-- Fay Gao
source : Steel Business Briefing