INTERNATIONAL STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS
Service centres in the US flat products market report a
slower than anticipated start to 2014. Although ex-mill transaction values have
increased, there does not appear to be much upward demand pressure at present.
Steelmakers continue to announce cost-driven price hikes as scrap escalates.
Inventories throughout the supply chain are light. As prices rise, producers are
closely watching the import situation. For now, buyers are showing little
interest in offshore material.
The Chinese market is quiet ahead of the week-long New Year celebrations at the
end of this month. Traders are keen to offload their stock and prices have
fallen accordingly. Softening raw material costs are hindering the situation.
Economic conditions are improving rapidly in Japan, creating a perfect climate
for the steelmakers’, much needed, price rises. The weak currency continues to
deter overseas suppliers. However, it is also making imported raw materials more
expensive. A number of producers are also concerned about escalating electricity
charges. Export business is weaker as demand in the key Asian markets is dull
and supply remains in surplus.
The South Korean domestic steel market is slow to recover and overseas sales are
also lacklustre. Local mills have a multitude of trade cases outstanding against
them at present. Despite high input costs, steelmakers are unable to lift their
The Polish economy is on the mend, with new investments from the European
Commission helping to boost activity. Proposed mill price rises of €40 per tonne
have not yet been implemented.
It is difficult to assess the future direction of the Czech/Slovak steel market
at present. However, there does appear to be some underlying optimism.
Transaction numbers have moved up this month and buyers are expecting stability
from now on.
Free Sample copies
of MEPS Reports
the latest copy of International Steel Review here
up for free MEPS steel news alerts