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Home > MEPS Steel News - 24.07.2013

SUMMER SLOWDOWN HITS STEEL DEMAND AND PRICES IN NORTHERN EUROPE - MEPS

Northern European flat products prices decreased in July. Demand from the manufacturing sector remains weak. A modest recovery is anticipated during the second half of 2013.

Construction activity has increased significantly in Scandinavia as developers attempt to get projects back on track after the long winter. Hot rolled coil is being offered at low prices from Italy, Eastern Europe and Asia. Consumption by carmakers and other OEMs is subdued. All coil requirements attract competition between stockists. Industrial operations in the Nordic region were substantially reduced by mid-July, due to the summer holiday season.

Consumption of hot rolled plate remains weak. Demand from yellow goods manufacturers has been fair of late but has declined for the vacation period. Sales volumes in Norway have dropped in recent times as local shipbuilders and fabricators have lost business to competitors in Asia, in particular. Producers and consumers may extend their summer shutdown periods.

Transaction values for all long products in northern Europe dropped again, this month despite already being at a very low level. However, scrap values have been climbing steadily since mid-June. This trend could support producers’ proposed price hikes after the summer vacation.

Construction activity has increased in Sweden. There has been an improvement in sales tonnages of structural sections in the Netherlands, supported by a few large building projects. Consumption of rebar has been robust in Denmark, thanks to a number of state-funded infrastructure schemes. Selling values in Austria have continued to slide, owing to subdued demand and low average scrap costs in June. Mill stock levels of merchant bars are high due to slow market conditions in the region. Demand from manufacturing industries, including automotive, is poor.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement  

Also See: MEPS Nordic Index and MEPS Nordic Steel Prices

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