A phenomenon that may be a tangible impact of the ongoing US-China trade conflict is now arising. Not yet apparent in numerical figures, but household electrical appliances such as photocopier from China to the US are no longer selling due to customs duties, and negotiations on Japanese cold-rolled and coated products for high-end areas such as home appliances and automobile have run into troubles both in quantity and price.
Japanese CR and coated products had not been influenced at all by falling prices of general-purpose CR and coated products. The arising phenomenon is a sign of a belated influence, and the focus is now on whether it may last long.
The price of general-purpose CR now stands at USD 650 CFR, having been pulled down by the falling hot-rolled coil (HRC) price. An excessive number of CR steel mill operating in China and Vietnam are further intensifying competition and narrowing the price gap between CR products and HRC, which are agonizing the mills.
Until now, the price of high-end CR products remained high even when general-purpose CR products were weak, as if they were living in a different world. However, the situation seems to have changed. A dark sign is now seen on the export to the US, which is exerting influence on high-end home appliances and has resulted in extra room in high-end CR rolling schedule.
This naturally influences the price of high-end CR products. The price of CR for drums, which is said to be closest to general-purpose among high-end products, has already sunk below USD 700 CFR.— Steelguru