AMERICAN AVERAGE CARBON STEEL PRICES
- LATEST FORECASTS FROM MEPS
The extended delivery lead times and full
order books prompted us to upgrade our forecast for the North
American average flat products price. Import quotations have been
rising in line with the upward trend in local values. Consequently,
the import threat is not increasing.
We believe that customer inventories are
starting to grow. At this time they are not excessive and,
therefore, do not present difficulties for future mill order books
in the near term. It is, however, probable that foreign supplies
will increase in the coming months. This, combined with higher
customer inventories, could exert downward pressure on prices as we
approach the New Year. We believe that the inherent strength of
demand should mitigate against a price collapse in 2007. We predict
a steel price erosion to the end of the research period.
In the long products category, strong
market demand is forecast to extend for most of the remainder of
2006. Further price increases are expected into the Winter months.
We detect only minimum negative price pressure from imports.
Nevertheless, the impact of poor weather conditions around the turn
of the year is likely to stifle consumption. As a consequence, we
predict a steady decline in the North American average long product
price during the early part of 2007.
Source: MEPS -
STEEL PRICES ON-LINE (regional steel price tables & forecasts)
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