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Home > MEPS Steel News - 23.09.2013

MILLS SECURE STEEL PRICE INCREASES IN NORTHERN EUROPE - MEPS

Steel market participants in northern Europe reported higher than normal purchasing activity during the summer period. Subsequently, producers pushed for significant price hikes. Buyers did not immediately accept the steelmakers’ suggestions in full but some advances were agreed in September negotiations for all carbon steel products. There appears to be no substantial rise in underlying demand. Steel producers argued that they needed higher prices to ensure their continued profitable operations. This triggered some restocking and speculative buying.

Sales of coil products remain subdued in the Nordic region. However, production cutbacks and technical problems at leading mills in mainland Europe stretched delivery lead times and altered the supply/demand balance. These circumstances supported the producers’ case for price hikes.

Transaction values for hot rolled plate have also climbed by a surprising amount, given the poor level of consumption and the fierce competition between regional producers and distributors.

Suppliers of long products also put forward the case for lifting selling values in order to cover their production costs. This was backed up by increasing input expenditure during July and August. Immediate demand for construction steels is weak but the anticipated start of some infrastructure projects, together with price speculation, has boosted purchasing activity in structural sections and reinforcing bars. There is continued competition from low-cost producers in Poland and the Baltic States. Manufacturing activity in the Nordic countries has been adversely affected by subcontracting to cheaper suppliers in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, producers of merchant bars achieved higher basis prices, as well as increased size extras, this month.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement  

Also See: MEPS Nordic Index and MEPS Nordic Steel Prices

Free Sample copy of MEPS European Steel Review Supplement