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Home > MEPS Steel News - 24.01.2013

MODERATE STEEL PRICE INCREASES DESPITE WEAK DEMAND IN NORTHERN EUROPE - MEPS

Steel purchasing activity in northern Europe has not picked up in the usual seasonal fashion this January. Despite lean inventories, end-users and stockists have been reluctant to buy more material than they absolutely need. They see no prospect of a significant upturn in underlying demand and fear that any escalation in prices, during the first half of 2013, will be short-lived.

Nevertheless, most steel producers have secured further small advances in spot basis values, this month. The MEPS Nordic Average transaction figures for both hot rolled and cold rolled coils rose by around 1.2 percent. Many quarterly contracts, though, have been settled at prices slightly below those agreed in the final period of 2012.

The market for quarto plate has been a little stronger. The energy sector remains more buoyant than most other steel consuming industries in the region. Stock building in China has boosted international raw material costs and put upward pressure on domestic steel prices in Europe. The MEPS Nordic Average transaction value for hot rolled plate increased by 1.8 percent in January.

Producers of long products have achieved mixed results, with larger increases for some categories and little or no change for others. Construction activity is weak. Consequently, most makers of reinforcing bars made no attempt to raise selling values, this month, despite higher scrap costs. Suppliers of structural sections, on the other hand, pushed through the biggest hikes of any product. The MEPS Nordic Average transaction price for Medium Sections and Beams was up by nearly 3 percent, in January. Rising raw material costs helped to secure moderate price advances, compared with last month, for merchant bars.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement  

Also See: MEPS Nordic Index and MEPS Nordic Steel Prices

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