STAINLESS STEEL COLD
ROLLED COIL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
Demand for cold rolled coil from the
automotive and other manufacturing sectors, in the United States,
has improved according to MEPS. Delivery lead times are long and
shipments from the mills are often late. This has encouraged
end-users to buy from stock. The producers’ proposed basis price
hike for July has been pushed back to August. Buyers may demonstrate
further resistance to increases.
Despite Japan’s leading producer, NSSC, trying to raise domestic
list prices for austenitic coils, market transaction values have
remained unchanged, this month. In South Korea, imports from Chinese
and other East Asian suppliers have increased significantly during
renovation work by the local producer, Posco. The company may lose
market share, in the longer term, as the quality of standard items
from China has been found to be satisfactory.
Customers in Taiwan remain cautious despite the relatively stable
nickel costs in recent months. Underlying demand is disappointing.
The local mills have cut domestic prices for austenitic coils.
Ferritic transaction values are unchanged. While Chinese producers
have differing views on domestic list prices, market values for type
304 coils have fallen in the past month. Some mills are offering
material at discounted figures, in an attempt to increase their cash
flow. Selling values for grade 430 coils, which had been stable for
several months, recorded a small reduction in mid-July.
There has been a moderate advance in austenitic coil basis figures,
in Germany. Buyers in France report increased basis numbers for coil
and sheet from stock as well as new production. There is not much
imported steel available on the French market, at present, as there
is little price differential between European and third country
coils. However, there is plenty of Asian material in Italian
stockholders’ inventories which, having been bought when prices were
lower, is keeping current values down.
Cold rolled coil and sheet sales activity in the UK has been quite
good in June and July but profit margins remain tight. Some items
are in short supply. Buyers anticipate nickel costs rising during
the second half of 2014. Austenitic basis figures in Spain are
unchanged, this month, but the mills have indicated their intention
to increase prices in September. Purchasers are doubtful that this
can happen unless it is supported by improved demand or rising
There has been no real sign, as yet, of an upturn in the Swedish
stainless steel market. There is plenty of material available and no
speculative buying. Some stockists are undercutting the mills in
order to shift tonnes. Market values have grown in the Netherlands
but it is possible to get one-off deals, from the mills, at lower
prices. Demand is fair, at present. Market participants hope it will
improve in the remainder of the year. Consumption is reasonable, in
Denmark. Sellers’ order loads are at the normal level for the time
of year. Regional mills’ schedules are quite full.
Source: MEPS -
Review - July Issue
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