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Home > MEPS Steel News - 01.08.2014


According to MEPS, US demand for hot rolled coil is showing the usual seasonal slowdown, although underlying consumption is firm. Delivery lead times remain at roughly four to five weeks. Inventory is controlled, throughout the supply chain.

The plate market is expected to stay strong, at least through October. Direct mill business for wind towers, bridges and railcars is booming. Distributors’ inventories are low. Mill delivery lead times are now over twelve weeks. Despite announcements of a US$30 per short ton hike by a number of plate makers, market transaction values have stabilised and buyers envisage little change for the next quarter. High prices have attracted the attention of overseas suppliers. More customers are becoming interested in purchasing foreign material.

Cold rolled coil transaction values peaked in June. Today’s figures are 2.3 percent lower than a month ago. Supply tightness has eased, although demand, particularly from the auto sector, remains good. Import pressure persists.

The auto sector remains healthy and domestic appliance production is good. Sales of galvanised steel to construction continue to revive. However, imports are creating downward price pressure. Potential buyers are cautious because of the threat of anti-dumping measures. Domestic prices have weakened slightly.

As anticipated, last month’s wire rod price hike was short-lived due to falling scrap costs. Currently, many companies have sufficient stocks of Chinese and Turkish material but pending anti-dumping legislation could prohibit further purchasing of imports towards the end of the year. Demand from construction is steady. Several local producers recently announced a US$15 per short ton increase from August 1.

Wide flange beam prices are flat in the US. Soft scrap values have made no impact. Offshore supplies are available. There are some small signs of recovery in the non-residential building sector.

Rebar sales are relatively healthy and prices are unchanged from a month ago. Domestic mills report firm order books.

Transaction figures for merchant bar are steady at the level reported in June. The market is not strong enough to support a rise.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review - July Issue

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