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Home > MEPS Steel News - 21.11.2013

UPWARD TREND IN NORTH EUROPEAN STEEL PRICES STALLS – MEPS

After climbing in September and October, transaction values for finished carbon steel products levelled out or, in most cases, began to fall, in November. Consumption is subdued and no upturn is anticipated before the early part of 2014, as stockists and end-users control their inventories for the end of the financial period, or year.

European strip mills state that their rolling schedules are almost full for the remainder of 2013. Nevertheless hot and cold rolled coil prices have dropped, slightly, in most of the Nordic countries. There are large enquiries from spot buyers, which tends to indicate an expectation of impending price hikes. Such increases would be driven by mill costs rather than real consumption. Attractive import offers are scarce. Delivery lead times for hot dipped galvanised material are stretching due to mills’ operational issues. There is an expectation that order volumes will increase in the new year, driven by a perceived upturn in end-user demand in the second quarter.

Hot rolled plate values, in Scandinavia, are largely unaltered, for November, but could fall, slightly, before a predicted pickup. Plate selling figures are unusually low, compared with those for strip mill products. This market in 2014, though, is forecast to be a little stronger.

Nordic long products prices have also taken a downward turn. Despite regional production of structural sections having been cut, delivery lead times remain short, at 3/4 weeks. Large enquiries are scarce. Weak consumption and lower scrap costs contributed to softening beam values. Similar forces led to lower rebar prices. Construction activity will slow further during the winter period. Demand for merchant bar is mixed, across the north of Europe. Transaction values decreased in some countries, in November. This may be a correction, after the recent increases in basis figures and size extras.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement  

Also See: MEPS Nordic Index and MEPS Nordic Steel Prices

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