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Commodities

Asia's steel and plastic prices slump as trade war takes toll

Excess output from China slowdown spills into neighboring markets

A steel plant in Hefei, China. Domestic demand for steel has waned during the trade war, undercutting prices in the region.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The price of industrial materials has dropped sharply as China's economy slows in the wake of the yearlong trade war with the U.S.

Hot-rolled steel coil, used in cars and industrial machinery, now hovers at $550 per ton for East Asia-bound shipments, down 10% over a year. The price declined sharply last fall as the trade war intensified. ABS plastic, used in exteriors for consumer electronics, has fared even worse, dropping nearly 30% from a year earlier.

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