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China magnesium: Export offers track steady domestic prices

China magnesium: Export offers track steady domestic prices

Spot export offers for Chinese magnesium ingot on a FOB basis tracked steady domestic prices, while the overseas physical buying interest has remained lacking, industry sources said Thursday. Most spot offers on a FOB basis were heard steady at $2,440-2,520/mt, unchanged from last week. Industry sources generally agreed that most tradable offers were below $2,500/mt. Platts kept its weekly magnesium ingot (minimum 99.8%) price assessment steady at $2,450-2,480/mt FOB China Thursday, unchanged from last week. The Chinese magnesium diecast alloy price assessment was also maintained at $2,730-2,780/mt FOB China Thursday, unchanged from last week. "The overseas export trade remains quiet. European buyers are still staying away from the market, while some Japanese traders are still on summer vacation. There's no movement in the export offers," said a south China-based trader. He added that he was keeping his offers steady around $2,470/mt, unchanged from last week. "I am hearing offers as low as $2,440/mt in the market but I have not heard any done deal at this level," he said. A north China-based producer, who shared similar view, said: "My export offers are still at $2,520/mt and the overseas demand is still lacking." He added that Shanxi offers were generally higher than those from Shaanxi as Shanxi had higher production costs. The northern Chinese producer said his domestic offers had remained steady at Yuan 14,400-14,500/mt ($2,341-2,357/mt), ex-plant in Shaanxi. "My domestic trade is doing better than exports. I have seen a slight pickup in domestic buying inquiries. Domestic prices have been falling and appeared to be steady recently. Some end-users are making inquiries. However, I have not seen a significant increase in trade to lift prices yet," added the northwestern Chinese producer. Domestic offer in Shanxi were heard around Yuan 14,900/mt ex-works, unchanged from last week. Sources added that the slightly stronger yuan against the dollar seen recently had offset the impact on the persisting weakness in the overseas demand. A stronger yuan would mean higher export offers in dollar, while weak demand dampened offers. The dollar was trading at Yuan 6.1632 Thursday but had been at the Yuan 6.15 level for the previous week till Wednesday. Two weeks ago, the dollar was trading at the Yuan 6.16 level. Meanwhile, production cuts continued among Chinese ferrosilicon producers but market participants said they did not have problems securing material due to slow demand. Ferrosilicon is a feedstock for magnesium ingot production. Chinese domestic ferrosilicon spot prices at Tianjin port were pegged at Yuan 6,200-6,300/mt Thursday, unchanged week on week. >>

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