The MEPS Global Steel Price Escalates 16 Percent
Year-on-Year in February
The upward trend in global steel values continued in February
– with North American and European flat product steelmakers securing a vast
proportion of their tabled price hikes, owing to improved market fundamentals.
From MEPS research, in February, many North American and European steel buyers
report that rising international selling figures aided the latest price
advances. Domestic steelmakers were given the opportunity to lift values, in the
absence of competitively priced alternatives, notably from Far East suppliers.
Steel manufacturers, in China, took advantage of government closures of local
induction furnaces and improved demand conditions to raise domestic prices
significantly, in the second half of 2017. Consequently, less material is
available for overseas markets. Export volumes slumped by 30.5 percent, in 2017,
Following a surge in late November/early December and a subsequent downward
correction in late December/early January, Chinese steel selling figures
stabilised, ahead of the Lunar New Year. In the post-holiday period, it is
likely that local values will move up, owing to restocking activity.
Amid stable demand projections, for 2018, MEPS expects Chinese prices to reach
their peak, mid-year, as a consequence of the withdrawal of the winter
production restrictions, in mid-March. It is reported that electric-arc melted
material will be introduced to replace the lost induction furnace output.
Consequently, Chinese production is expected to rise, in the second trimester of
2018. This could threaten the sustainability of the current global steel price
MEPS - International
Steel Review - February 2018 Edition
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