Steel Article

PPGI and PPGL: Bogus Prices & Bogus Product
03 February 2012 02:32

Article by Richard Marriott

Unfortunately there are dozens of Chinese suppliers out here who don't give a damn about how much damage they can cause a company by supplying substandard PPGI that is packaged as e.g. Z275, with 25+5um paint.

Some of the horror stories we've heard are truly criminal, one of the worst being a 6,000MT order of PPGI Z275 with 25+5um paint, which turned out to in fact be only Z80 with just 8+5um paint. The material was so bad that the paint could be scratched off easily and the buyer was left with 6,000MT of unsellable crap that to this day is still sitting in stock.

We have lost countless deals to competing Chinese suppliers who have no hesitation in compromising quality in order to make some quick cash. The story is always the same.

When facing another Chinese supplier's quotation and calculating how they can quote so cheap and out of market, we will go through the following steps:

1.First check the price level with all our cooperating mills to see how the best price we can reach for the correct material compares to the competitor's quote.

2.Then generally if the competitors price is more than USD 30 or 40/MT cheaper than ours we can begin to expect things may not be as they seem and alarm bells ring. The material must be compromised.

We can do the maths ourselves based on the level a competitor has offered to work out exactly what lapses in quality they are taking. Where it is clear material quality is compromised (e.g. USD100/MT price difference), we can use the REAL MARKET PRICE and cost difference for each level of zinc coating to work our way down to a coating that fits the price point they have offered. No supplier, trader or mill can possibly manage a price USD100/MT lower than the market level without compromising quality.

For example:

PPGI, DX51D+Z120, RAL9002, 25+5um

Our quotation: FOB TIANJIN USD1040/MT

Competitors quotation: FOB TIANJIN USD940/MT

Whereas our price is for the correct material, the competitors price is actually for: Z60, 10+5um.

In the above we spoke about the REAL MARKET PRICE - one of the key problems with the PPGI and PPGL market in China is that it is almost impossible for buyers to know what the real market price level is, simply because the bogus quotations outweigh the genuine. This tendency for bogus pricing gives buyers a false idea of the real price level for correct material and is ultimately why when buyers compare our quotes to the rest of the quotations they receive from China, they will find our price higher than the majority, and believe our quotation to be the one that is "out of market".

One more golden rule to remember when looking for PPGI in China is simple:

Almost NO private mills can produce PPGI with a zinc coating more than 120grams/sqm. Neither can they produce PPGL with an alu-zinc coating of more than 100grams/sqm.

Any supplier that quotes you an FOB Tianjin price for PPGI Z180grams will 99% of the time not be quoting for the correct material, because the private mills simply don't produce it. The material they'll actually provide will be Z120grams at the most. Reasons why private mills don't produce above Z120/AZ100:

1.Anything above these levels is not common in China, demand is low, so this would have to be produced specially and would be a waste of time, energy and money.

2.Some mills that produce the complete PPGI product within their walls, (i.e. make their own GIC base metal rather than ordering it in) are capable of producing higher Z/AZ coatings, but MOQ for e.g. Z275 would need to be more than 5,000tons.

So, if you receive a quote from a supplier who is sourcing your PPGI Z180 from a private mill, please proceed with caution. Likewise, do not be fooled by some excellent samples that are sent in the post - these are easy to come by and will often not be anything like the actual product you receive in the end.

YES, China's PPGI world is littered with dodgy business practices and dishonest suppliers, but if you know how to spot them you can avoid them like the plague.

Key points and tips to remember:

1.No private mill in their right mind will fire up their production lines to specially produce PPGI with a zinc/alu-zinc coating higher than 120/100grams for any tonnage less than a few thousand tons.

2.Apply caution when comparing quotes between various Chinese suppliers - a great price will seem realistic when compared to a handful of other bogus quotations, but this does not always mean it is genuine.

3.When asking for a quotation be clear from the beginning about the PPGI's end usage, why the zinc coating cannot be less than what you need and assert that you will carry out an SGS material inspection before goods are shipped. This may help you avoid being quoted a bogus price from the very start.


We work with some great Prepainted Steel mills that provide excellent product. From these mills we can fix the zinc/alu-zinc and paint coating, guaranteeing you get exactly what you pay for. If you need AZ100grams, we will provide AZ100grams. If you wish to buy PPGI with Z275grams we will approach only state mills to guarantee you this level.

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