Welded pipe prices in China dropped significantly this week as upstream material prices both fell this week. Billet prices in Tangshan city in northern China’s Hebei province have dropped sharply since last weekend and narrow strip fell this week.
Steel Business Briefing learns from market sources that the price decline has undermined market confidence and prices are expected to decrease further as the market has yet to stabilize.
In Shanghai on 1 July, traders were offering 114×3.75mm electric resistance welded (ERW) pipes (Q235 grade) from northern China’s Hebei province at around RMB 4,200-4,250/tonne ($619-627/t) with 17% VAT, down about RMB 150/t ($22/t) from 24 June. Traders lowered prices to follow pipe mills in northern China. “Demand has gotten even weaker with the current general market pessimism,” a Shanghai trader says.
Mills in Tangshan started to cut their ex-works prices after the monthly meeting of China’s major narrow strip makers. At their meeting on 25 June, these producers set their June settlement price at RMB 3,890-3,950/t ($574-581/t) (on different widths), down by RMB 150-180/t ($22-27/t) from May. The July reference price was RMB 3,950/t, down RMB 150-200/t ($22-29/t) from June’s reference price. These prices are with VAT on a cash basis.
Ex-works prices for 114×3.75mm ERW pipes in Tangshan were around RMB 3,900/t ($575/t) on 1 July, down by about RMB 150/t ($22/t) from the previous week. Mill sources say the actual transaction prices are lower than RMB 3,900/t, as billet and narrow strip prices keep falling.