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Tinplate Inquiry Gradually Increasing in China

According to Shanghai Tinplate News, tinplate prices continue steady, closing weak. Feedbacks from the recent tinplate market show that local tinplate trading is stepping into warmly situation along with an increasing number of inquiries. However, those inquiries were mainly for industrial application of low-quality iron, and inquire of tinplate cans for food contact is much less. From the perspective of steel mills, they are not very confirmed about raising the price, and are still analyzing the relevant policies. However, orders from February and March went normal, which means the price for April and following months are expected to rising gradually.

China Metal Packaging Industry Developed Rapidly

With the rapid growth of China's economy and consumption in recent years, as an important part of China's packaging industry, metal packaging for its good tightness and with bright patterns in the food, beverage, cosmetic and household goods industries are widely used, especially food and beverage industry has become the largest market for metal packaging, and chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry has become an important market for metal packaging.   

With the improvement of living standards of consumers, food and beverage packaging demand will grow rapidly. In particular functional drinks, canned food increased rapidly, providing more opportunities for metal cans. Currently, the world's most recognized metal packaging containers are safe and environmentally friendly products, the potential for future development.
The last 10 years, China's beverage industry has maintained an annual growth rate of over 20% in 2011 to 118 million tons of beverage production. China's total 9.72 million tons of canned sales 120.2 billion yuan, which includes a metal packaging, soft and hard forms of packaging and other packaging products. With the ability to improve and upgrade the national consumption spending habits emerging, fast-growing high-end product extensive use of metal beverage packaging.  

Experts predict that China's metal packaging industry a huge space for development in the next 3-5 years, exceeded 100 billion value of a foregone conclusion. Food and consumer goods continued to grow rapidly, especially as the rapid growth of consumer beverage, beer cans rate values ​​increasing, gradually increase the strong demand for rural two-piece cans, metal packaging machinery and equipment, management and production scale Therefore, China's metal packaging industry will accomplish much. 

Tinplate export prices increased sharply in Japan

It is reported recently that Japanese steel mills have raised the export prices of tinplate about USD50/MT for the second quarter of 2014. The tinplate exporting price to the USA is expecting to increase around 3%-5%, at the same time, Korean steel tinplate plants may also raise the prices.


In addition, in Asia, China, Baosteel has raised the export price of tinplate by USD8/MT, and Thailand tinplate manufacturers will raise prices by aboutUSD40/MT, due to strong demand for the local canning industry.

Key drivers behind tinplate price for the second half of 2013

Behind our view of a lower tinplate contract price for the second half of 2013 it’s also the expected decline of Europe cold-rolled steel price, as we forecast a -5% average annual decrease during 2013. This will be a driver behind the expected tinplate spot global price decreases, especially during the second half of this year. Furthermore, import competition will remain high in the Europe tinplate market, mainly from material of Asian countries. Given the low capability utilization rates in Europe, high import supply, and lower cold-rolled steel prices, it will be difficult for mills to have a high bargain power in the upcoming tinplate contract price negotiations.

We anticipate iron ore price could register an average annual increase of 4.5%, while we expect coking coal to register a modest decrease of -6% in 2013. It is to be noted the difference in growth of iron ore and coking coal (which had been historically related) comes from structural changes for these raw materials. The iron ore supply is expected to be more restrained than coking coal in 2013. The first factor is that India, the third-largest iron ore exporter, has suffered export and mining bans which have translated into a severe cutback in iron ore supply. Meanwhile, supply of coking coal has increased, with Australia being the main source. Furthermore, China consumes more than half of seaborne trade in iron ore, which has also increased iron ore price, as India was one of the main sources of iron ore in China. Meanwhile, coking coal has as main consumers Japan and South Korea, which prefer to buy in long-term contracts, thus making less volatile the price of such steelmaking material.

Also the EU economy is expected register a marginal recovery during 2013, with a growth of 0.2% in its GDP during this year, after a -0.2% decrease registered during 2012. This weak outlook will negatively impact tinplate spot and contract prices in Europe during 2013.

China proves global mettle with steel-making capacity

For the past few years, the direction and health of the global steel industry is being determined by what is happening in China. The scenario is going to be the same in the coming years despite reports of an imminent drop in production and consumption of steel in that country. We can briefly review the full year of 2013 to examine this hypothesis.

China has created effective steel-making capacity of 841 million tonnes, a predominant share of 46% of the global capacity. In 2013 alone, around 22 new blast furnaces have come into operation in China.

It produced 779 million tonnes of crude steel at an annual growth rate of 7.5% against the global average of 3.5% and occupying a share of 48.5% of the total production. It consumed approximately 47 % of the global steel market. The Chinese export of steel reached 62.4 million tonnes, a growth of 12% over the previous year. Its primary export destinations are South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and USA. India's share in total Chinese steel exports stood at only 2.6%.

A near self-sufficiency in steel is observed by China as its steel imports have come down at 14.1 million tonnes in 2013, leaving it to be a net exporter at 48.3 million tonnes.

Steel imports by China comprised flat products, special steel and railway products.

These are the areas where there is a gap in domestic availability. China imports little steel on price considerations unlike India.

As regards raw materials, the principle pursued by China is pragmatic and not bogged down by rhetoric and legal framework of WTO regulations. It conserves unprocessed raw materials, imposes restrictions in the form of quota/licences/taxes to make export of raw materials commercially non-viable.

China imported nearly 820 million tonnes of iron ore in 2013, 10% more than last year, mostly from Australia (51%), Brazil (19%), South Africa (5%), Iran(3%),Canada( 2%) and India ( 1.4%). Its domestic production of crude ore reached 1.4 billion tonnes. Applying the standard norm, this equals to an annual production of 468 million tonnes.

The Fe content of indigenous reserve of iron ore being low, China has deployed beneficiation and agglomeration technology on a wide scale to utilize the domestic resources fruitfully. This is why the indigenous cost of iron ore availability is higher than the CFR value of imported iron ore. China is exporting bauxite, zinc, rare earths and other raw materials under specific restrictive measures. China has produced 476.4 million tonnes of coke, exported coke of only 4.7 million tonnes, less than 1% of domestic production. It has also imported coking coal at 75.4 million tonnes.

Its production of ferro alloys stood at 37.8 million tonnes in 2013 and export of 1.2 million tonnes comprises only 3.2% of domestic production. India received only 43.3 thousand tonnes of ferro alloys from China.

China is also the top exporter of steel-containing manufactured goods like machinery and equipment, white goods and transport equipment.

The high level of indirect steel exports have helped China to enhance steel capacity utilization.


European steel body plans anti-dumping cases against China, Russia

European steel lobby Eurofer plans to file anti-dumping cases this year with the European Commission against exports of cold rolled stainless sheet from China and Taiwan and of electrical steel sheet from Russia.

If the Commission, the European Union's executive, takes up the cases, they will join a series of damaging trade disputes over recent years between the 28-nation EU and China, as well as some with Russia.

"We have two cases in an advanced stage where we suspect dumping and subsidies. One concerns Russia, the other concerns China and Taiwan. They will be filed this year," Eurofer director general Gordon Moffat told Reuters.

The China Iron and Steel Association was not available to comment when contacted by Reuters, while the European Commission declined to comment. China Steel Corp. (2002.TW), Taiwan's biggest steelmaker, said it was unaware of the planned action and had no comment.

Russia's vice minister of industry and trade, Viktor Yevtukhov, said Moscow would stand behind its steel producers.

"(We) emphasised the need to abandon protectionist policies during the meetings with European colleagues. Taking into account the discriminatory approaches the Europeans use in their anti dumping investigations, both Russian business and the state doubt the fairness of such probes," Yevtukhov said.

The cold rolled stainless market in western Europe is estimated at about 4.6 million tonnes or 11 billion euros (9 billion pounds) annually, according to steel consultancy MEPS. The European market for electrical steel sheet is much smaller by comparison.

NLMK (NLMK.MM), one of Russia's top steelmakers, said: "If the investigations start, NLMK will provide all the necessary information, which will confirm that the export of Russian electrical steel is not dumping."

The EU currently has duties on a number of steel products from China, including steel bolts and screws – ranging between 22.9 percent and 74.1 percent and which China says have not been calculated in accordance with rules laid down by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The bloc has also deemed some Russian producers of fertilisers, ferro-alloys, pipelines, other steel products and aluminium foil to be in breach of its anti-dumping policies as they have access to cheap energy in Russia's domestic market.

Russia says the duties have cost the companies involved many millions of dollars a year, and has warned it may take the EU to the WTO over its rules relating to the advantage of cheap energy.

Producing steel profitably in the EU has become difficult given shrinking demand – down some 27 percent since 2008 – plus higher energy and labour costs compared with Asian competitors, and structural overcapacity of around 30 million-40 million tonnes.

China, by far the world's largest steel producer, continues to churn out steel at a record rates as authorities prop up state-owned plants to keep employment high and avoid social unrest.

Shanghai Tinplate: Price Expected to Increase

Shanghai – the 16th Shanghai market price of tin plate running smoothly. As of press time, Meishan Steel 0.20mm * 860mm quoted at 6910RMB/MT, Meishan Steel 0.23mm * 800mm quote 6770RMB/MT, Steel 0.25mm * 800mm offer 7,000RMB/MT, Steel 0.30mm * 930mm quote 6600RMB/MT, Baosteel 0.16mm * 895mm quote 7530RMB/MT ( material DR8), above the current market price of the mainstream . (Price reference based on 2.8/2.8) .

Today Baosteel issued in March 2014 tin plate futures orders policies, and Baosteel Meishan Steel tin plated, ferrochrome prices by 150-200RMB/MT , this will boost the domestic tin market trend. It is understood that the current prices of private steel mills in northern markets strong will, is expected to rise at 100-150RMB/MT. From this perspective, the tinplate market after the Spring Festival will set off a wave of “driven by the steel price increases in raw material costs led to rising prices of short-term market price movements," Shanghai market response is particularly evident with the rise booking futures, spot market will also be a certain level of rise.
But in the long term, in 2014 the national " thrifty order" downstream tinplate packaging industry is bound to limit the growth in demand is expected in 3-4 months after the market price or weaker , recommended caution , not so much.

Global recovery forecast for stainless steel production in 2014

Production during the second half of 2013 exceeded earlier predictions. Nevertheless, the outturn in South Korea, EU and Japan was lower than in 2012. Output in Taiwan and the United States recovered somewhat, to achieve figures estimated to be more than 2% higher than in the previous twelve months. However, production in all of these established stainless steel making countries and regions remains significantly below the peak figures achieved in 2006.

The growth of Chinese production will, inevitably, slow from the rapid rate of recent years. We do anticipate, though, that output will continue to climb by 6.8% in 2014 – faster than anywhere else – to reach 19.3 million MT. This would represent almost 50% of global stainless steel production.

The annual total global crude stainless steel production for 2013 is estimated to have reached an all-time high of 37.3 million MT. This surpasses the previous record mark, set in 2012, by 5.5%. MEPS forecasts that worldwide output will increase by a further 4.6% in 2014, to a new peak figure of 39 million MT.

Output in the countries classed as “Others” is forecast to grow by 3.5%, this year, to total 3.725 million MT.

After slipping by between 2 and 3% in 2013, the outturn in both South Korea and Taiwan is forecast to increase by a similar amount, this year, to achieve figures of 2.125 million MT and 1.1 million MT, respectively – close to the numbers recorded in 2012.

Production in the United States is expected to exhibit further, moderate growth of around 1.2% in 2014, reaching an annual outturn of 2.05 million MT.

Chinese steel industry gets warmer in the fourth quarter of 2013

The Economic Daily climate Index of China Steel Industry for the Fourth Quarter of 2013 was posted by Industry Research Centers and the National Bureau of Statistics China Economic on January 20.

Monitoring shows that the fourth quarter of 2013, the steel industry sentiment index was 98.0 points, almost equal to the previous quarter. According to the sales situation analysis, steady growth policies and real estate, automotive and other downstream industries to some extent, enhance the iron and steel industry boom.

From the specific indicators, during the fourth quarter of 2013, China's crude steel production rose 7.9%, the growth rate accelerated 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter; steel industry, the main business revenue grew by 10.3%, the growth rate improved 3.6 percentage points from the previous quarter.  

Although the steel industry sales growth has picked up, but steel prices at low levels, loan delinquency status significantly. In the fourth quarter, the level of the steel industry product prices fell 3.5 percent, the industry accounts receivable grew by 15.2%, 5.2 percentage points from the previous quarter to accelerate. This shows that the growth in market demand is still not strong enough; the steel industry overcapacity pressure is still great.


Mirach Tinplate Application

As well known that the major application of tinplate is in packing, which is Mirach tinplate’s ideally suited purpose, by virtue of it being non-toxic, light in weight, strong, corrosion resistant and easily formed, soldered and welded; it also provides an excellent printing surface. The tin coating has a low melting point, possesses lubricant qualities and imparts a good appearance. Cans made from tinplate are easy to handle, dispose and store. Tinplate is primarily used for packaging foodstuffs and beverages, but it is also used in containers for oils, grease, paints, powdered, polishes, waxes, chemicals and many other products. Aerosol containers and caps and closures are also made from tinplate.

Stainless Steel VS Carbon Steel

If you look up the definition of steel you will find something along the lines of "an iron alloy containing more than 0.1% carbon". If you look up the composition of most Stainless Steel you will find that the carbon content is limited to less than 0.1%. Therefore, Stainless Steel is technically not steel. Why is the carbon content of Stainless Steel limited? Well, if you mess up the heat treatment the carbon likes to combine with the Cr to form chromium carbide which has the formula Cr23C6. This compound forms along the grain boundaries (not defined here) and robs the regions along the grain boundaries of Cr. However, Cr was added to the material to make it corrosion resistant so if you remove it the Stainless Steel is no longer stainless. That is why the carbon concentration of Stainless Steel is limited. So Stainless Steel does not contain much carbon to make sure that it remains stainless. What is the result? Carbon is responsible for making steels hard so they hold a really nice cutting edge.

Therefore, Stainless Steel is not very hard and makes lousy cutting tools. Well not really. Metallurgists figured that a metal that was both stainless and held a decent cutting edge would be great so they developed some Stainless Steel that held a fairly good cutting edge. In the US, these are the 400 series Stainless Steel. The key is that, through careful control of the composition and heat treatment, you can create a metal that is a good compromise between corrosion resistance and hardness. However, it you make a mistake in either one you end up with a material that is too hard (brittle) or too soft (won't hold and edge). Generally, cheap Stainless Steel tools such as knives err on the side of too soft while high quality tools generally are right on or err on the side of too hard.

Posco gets conditional green clearance for steel project in Odisha

South Korean steel major Posco has received conditional re-validation of environment clearance from the environment ministry for its $12-billion steel project in Odisha.

South Korean steel major Posco has received conditional re-validation of environment clearance from the environment ministry for its $12-billion steel project in Odisha, a company official said on Thursday.

The proposed 12-million-tonne-per-annum plant near Paradip port town in Jagatsinghpur district, about 100 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, was given a five-year environment clearance in July 2007.

The revalidation of the clearance was necessary for the company to proceed on the project, the official told IANS

The revalidation was granted on the condition that the company will spend five percent of its investment on "enterprise social commitments", he said.

The decision comes days ahead of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's four-day visit to India beginning January 15.

The state government signed an agreement with Posco in 2005 for the project, the largest foreign direct investment in India.

The government has already acquired 2,700 acres of land required for the first phase of the project (eight million tonnes per annum).

Mirach Tinplate Brief Info

Mirach Metallurgy has been engaged in tinplate distributing for over a couple of decades, and regarded as one of the most reliable exporter with proficient technical supports, extremely strict QA guarantee, conscientious and diligent services. Our tin mill products are extensively distributed and approved throughout the world for the application of food package, beverage and industrial goods enjoying remarkably reputation in the global market with more than 100,000 tons annual sales volume.

Advantages of Mirach Tinplate

1.State-controlling enterprise with fiscal suppot and credit guarantee
2.SGS Inspection available
3.Including L, D type and precise slitting coil
4.Flexible payment: 30-180 Usance υC alternative
5.Brand-quality orientation
6.Marketing segmentation: focus on ETP/TFS users requiring advanced type
  to end users: technician support to cost reduction and progress
  to distributors: marketing exploitation and channel extension

Mirach Tinplate Cooperation Rules

Mirach only cooperates with stated owned mills in China, including Baosteel, WISCO Corp., and Shougang Group or their branch mills and so forth, we will choose the most suitable mill according to the size and final application of our customers.

For example, if customers need tinplate for making tomato cans, we need to choose the mill who are specialized in tin coating at least 5.6/2.8 smoothly for anti-acid erosion, whereas, the clients who are making fish cans they will ask us to choose the mill who are capable of providing excellent tin free steel, the Chromium Coated steel with anti-alkaline erosion properties. Also we will choose the mill according to the SR or DR difference, also the usage for can lid and body makes the discrimination.

And another consideration is the capacity of each mills, we’ll try to choose the mills who are not running with their full capacity, means they aren’t too busy to guarantee the delivery time.

Japanese Steel Mills Plan to Bring up Tinplate Export Price to Asia Countries

According to Business Network, steel mills in Japan are planning to increase tinplate exporting price to Asia countries during the 1st season of 2014. It is expected that the price would be increased by USD50/MT. However, based on the present marketing level, a majority of Asia tinplate customers can only accept a price increment of USD30/MT at most. It is expected by the industry that tinplate export price will continue to rise due to the growth in demand for tinplate for the 2nd season of 2014. As a matter of fact, Japanese mills steel mill had successfully increased the exporting price by USD50/MT for tinplate in the Middle East during the last season of 2013.

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