FURTHER REDUCTIONS IN
NORTH EUROPEAN STEEL PRICES - MEPS
Transaction values for
almost all steel products recorded moderate decreases, in April, in
northern Europe. The usual, seasonal upturn in activity in the early
part of the year has not occurred. Demand from all the major
consuming sectors for strip mill products is weak. Distributors and
service centres are aiming to minimise their inventories. Delivery
lead times from the mills are short. Import offers from Asia are
keeping downward pressure on prices from Western European producers.
The mills will need to increase selling values soon in order to
ensure that they cover their production costs.
Hot rolled plate prices have been far more stable in recent weeks.
Sales volumes to manufacturers of trucks and yellow goods have been
reasonable, in some areas. Demand from linepipe producers is
expected to pick up in the second half of 2013. The mills hopes of
raising selling values have been frustrated by the presence of
competitive offers from Eastern Europe and the Far East.
The continuing wintry conditions in northern Europe have slowed
construction work and, consequently, reduced demand for sections and
rebar. Activity is predicted to increase when the weather improves.
Suppliers face competition from Germany and Eastern Europe.
Consumption of merchant bars, by the manufacturing sector, is
subdued. Prices slipped further, this month but the bottom of the
current cycle is thought to be close.
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