EUROPEAN STEEL MARKET
ROUNDUP FROM MEPS
European producers of flat steel products
have, so far, failed to close deals for the second quarter at the
target prices they initially announced. Falling input costs have
hindered the mills’ aspirations. Moreover, offers from third country
sources are becoming more competitive, although the lengthy delivery
lead times involved are still considered to be a big risk in today’s
market climate. Domestic steelmakers are hopeful that a small
increase can be secured for orders placed over the next few weeks.
Economic indicators remain good in several countries.
After a weak start to the year, demand from German end-users is now
either stable or growing. However, customers are not yet ready to
pay the proposed second trimester increase of €30/40 per tonne.
Producers have already lowered their expectations to around €10/20
The French market has been described as lethargic, lacking dynamism,
with stagnant average demand since January and even sagging end-user
activity. In such conditions, it has not been possible for producers
to lift their prices.
In Italy, market players are viewing the changing political
environment with great caution. MEPS has noted a number of negative
developments in the steel sector. End-user activity has slowed,
creating pressure in the distribution segment. The mills have become
more flexible in their attitude during price negotiations.
In the UK, the announced increases have not filtered through to the
market. The strong local currency is working in the favour of
importers, both from mainland Europe and from third countries.
Service centres report that demand is still reasonably good but may
have slowed a little.
In Spain, there is still pressure from domestic producers to lift
basis figures for second quarter business but import offers are
becoming cheaper. Consequently, for now, customers are reluctant to
accept increases. End-users are also refusing to pay more to the
Source: MEPS -
European Steel Review
MEPS - EU Steel
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