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Home > MEPS Steel News - 28.11.2013

STEEL PRICES RISE IN NORTH AMERICA BUT ARE WEAKER IN OTHER REGIONS

Following another round of price hike announcements, US flat product ex-mill transaction values have moved up. However, resale prices are proving more difficult to lift. Overseas producers, seeing the positive price momentum in the US, are becoming increasingly active in the marketplace. Domestic availability is adequate. Inventories throughout the supply chain are light.

Producers are talking of recovery in Canada’s flat products sector. They have adopted a firm policy when it comes to applying the proposed price rises. Transaction figures are well above this year's previous peak in September. Many companies have been forced to place orders at the inflated levels because their inventories were so low. However, service centres report that their sales are inconsistent and, with prices continuing to move up, they are only buying for the short term.

Japanese domestic demand is healthy and growing, boosted by reconstruction activity and strong economic policies. Stock levels are now considered to be reasonable. However, overseas sales continue to weaken as demand in key Asian export markets falls away and Chinese supply pressure persists.

In South Korea, both domestic and overseas demand is lacklustre. The local mills are actively looking for an opportunity to boost flat products selling values. However, the current weakness is expected to continue until the end of the year.

Polish strip mill product prices are unchanged in euros but marginally lower in the local currency due to exchange rate fluctuations. Buyers envisage some small reductions in December. Although there is a great deal of post-election infighting in the Czech Republic, the overall consensus appears to be that the economic situation has reached the bottom and, with the notable exception of construction, business is slowly starting to recover. However, this more positive scenario has yet to benefit steel demand. Transaction values are expected to remain unchanged for the remainder of 2013.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review

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