Prices Continue to Fall
in Northern European Steel Market
Purchasing activity is subdued, in the northern European steel
market. Supply chain participants are beginning to reduce their
inventories, before the calendar year-end. Market trends are not
expected to change unless consumption increases or production
capacity is reduced.
Danish suppliers report poor demand for hot rolled coil. Sellers are
struggling to find new markets. In Sweden, domestic end-users have
plenty of work but want to control their stock levels. Prices
continue to slide, in Finland, although local demand is fair. In the
Netherlands, delivery lead times, from the mills, are short. Order
bookings, for the fourth quarter, are sparse, in Austria. The
Norwegian market is quieter, now, than it was before the summer
Hot rolled plate demand is weakening, in Sweden. In Finland, the
shipbuilding industry is performing better than most other sectors
but Russian producers are active. Sales tonnages are fair, in
Austria, but purchasing activity is at a low level, in Denmark and
in the Netherlands. Norwegian participants report signs of a
slowdown in the offshore segment.
Decreased German vehicle-making activity is reducing exports from
all markets in the region, adversely affecting sales of cold rolled
coil and coated sheet and coil. No recovery is anticipated until
several months into 2020. Imports are reported to be swelling
supply. Hot dipped galvanised coil values remain under negative
pressure and they are predicted to fall again, next month. Local
mills are said to be becoming more flexible, in negotiations. In
Norway, buyers are free to import from anywhere. Consequently, they
are seeking low price offers.
Domestic sales volumes of wire rod were surprisingly good, in Sweden
but reduced raw material costs pushed mill selling values downward.
Downstream wire consumption is significantly reduced, in Finland.
Wire producers, in the Netherlands, are seeking customers in other
sectors. Drawing quality wire rod prices fell in Austria, in Denmark
and in Norway.
Recent sales tonnages of medium sections and beams have been
satisfactory, in Denmark. However, a downturn in building activity
is expected. Reduced scrap costs, and the weak European market,
dragged Swedish beam prices down. The same factors, combined with
competition from Russian suppliers, applied negative pressure to
selling values in Finland. Mills are willing to cut prices to secure
deals in the Netherlands. Construction activity remains reasonable,
in Austria, but a slowdown is foreseen. Order volumes, in Norway,
are lower than in recent months.
The Swedish reinforcing bar market is shrinking, slightly, but
several large infrastructure projects have recently been approved.
Consumption, in Finland, is still quite good. Local demand is
healthy, in Denmark. However, activity is expected to decline.
Projects, in the Netherlands, are being hit by the government’s
nitrogen limiting measures. Transaction values are falling, in
Austria and in Norway. Buyers are waiting before placing orders.
Danish domestic demand for merchant bars is fair, but regional
consumption is weak. Buyers are discouraged from placing orders.
Sales volumes, in Sweden, are adversely affected by the slowdown in
automotive and general manufacturing. In Finland, prices are
negatively influenced by low mill input costs and cheap import
offers. In the Netherlands, conversely, the majority of foreign
quotations are considered to be unattractive Strong competition
between numerous local suppliers is reported, in Austria. Stockists,
in Norway, are prepared to source material from third countries if
European producers are unwilling to cut their prices sufficiently.
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