According to reports, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. to import wide and heavy plates for shipbuilding.
Hyundai Heavy Industries plans to import 180,000 tons of steel plates from Baosteel yearly.
Hyundai Heavy Industries said that the price was lower than that offered by Japanese steelmarkers and a South Korean report said that South Korea would gradually enlarge imports of China- made steel plates for shipbuilding.
South Korean shipbuilders mainly bought wide and heavy plates from Japan besides the local supply. But the two sides have had different opinions on pricing since the second half of 2005.
South Korean shipbuilders believed that export prices of plates for shipbuilding should be lowered now that the global steel price fell.
Baosteel started production of the five-meter wide and heavy plate last year and the first phase is designed to reach an annual production capacity of 1.4 million tons.
Previously, no steelworks in mainland China was able to produce five-meter wide and heavy plates and most domestic shipbuilders had to import such plates from South Korea and Japan.
Production of wide and heavy plates in Baosteel, whose parent company is a Fortune Global 500 company, is believed to help reduce procurement costs of the Chinese shipbuilding industry.