UK STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
UK commodity plate prices are
still higher than those in most of mainland Europe, according to
MEPS. This is attracting imports, aided by the strength of sterling.
Resale values are still under pressure. The lack of investment in
the oil industry means sales to that sector have plummeted.
Construction demand has held up but selling figures have been
damaged by the availability of cheap Chinese material.
Buyers report that Russian suppliers of cold rolled coil have
reduced their offers. Domestic basis number have weakened slightly
from the reduced level established in April. Customers consider the
bottom has been reached for coated coil transaction values. There
are fewer, cheap Chinese offers. The vehicle sector is healthy and
distributors are busy with sales to the building industry.
Prices for structural sections have tumbled as order intake has
slowed. The weak euro has given mainland European suppliers
significant advantages. The environment for distributors is
increasingly challenging as lower ex-mill values have led to stock
losses. Even so, there appears to be no resolve on their part to
push resale values up. The larger players are selling at
particularly low numbers. April was quieter than expected but there
should be plenty of activity in the future.
UK rebar prices for forward orders are at a similar level to last
month. Despite healthy underlying demand, the domestic producer has
little possibility of lifting values at the moment. There is severe
import pressure, mainly from Chinese sources but also from mainland
European suppliers taking advantage of the current exchange rate.
There is plenty of material sitting at the docks and service centre
stocks are considered to be a little on the high side.
Some price erosion was noted for merchant bar, during the latter
part of April, but, since then, things have stabilised. Service
centre stocks are reasonable. There are plenty of offers from
mainland Europe due to the weak euro.
European Steel Review
- May Issue
MEPS - EU Steel
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