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China’s white goods sector tipped to weaken

February 9, 2018

Steel demand from the white goods sector benefited Chinese mills last year, but the effect of a weaker housing market is set to adversely impact demand this year.
China’s production of white goods – air conditioners, washing machines, freezers, refrigerators and televisions – totaled 532 million mt in 2017, up 11% year on year, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. This growth rate was the highest since 2012.
However, several market participants surveyed by S&P Global Platts were concerned the growth rate could slow in 2018, dampening demand for hot dip galvanized and cold rolled coil.
One analyst said last year’s robust growth in white goods output could have been predicted in 2016, when property sales were robust. Property sales in China include a large

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MJP swap trades pick up pace amid US probe, China stocks

January 25, 2018

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Japanese aluminum premium contract or MJP swap trades started to pick up pace in the second half of 2017, with open interest surging 69% to 9,052 lots on December 29 from 5,362 lots on July 3.
The increase mirrored the rise in spot trades in the physical market as Japanese buyers, notably consumers, cut volumes under long term contracts and became more active in the spot market.
S&P Global Platts captured a total 66,250 mt of spot CIF Japan physical trades in 2017, 41,750 mt or 63% of which were in the second half of the year.
In the fourth quarter, MJP swap contracts traded in long “strips” for January-December 2018, rather than for shorter periods. This was another sign of the paper market’s affinity with the physical market.
Negotiations for 2018 annual

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