STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
Demand on South Korea’s hot rolled coil
mills is subdued, amidst an inflow of low-priced imports from China and a
slowing economic recovery. According to MEPS, during recent settlements,
domestic steelmakers have agreed to further discounts.
Demand from shipyards is forecast to be generally flat,
for the remainder of 2015. Sales to the construction sector are also poor and
inventories at the distributors are excessive. There is severe internal
competition for the little business available and attractively priced import
offers are being made. We have noted a further downward price correction for
Poor domestic consumption, combined with strong rivalry
from Chinese suppliers, has forced cold rolled coil producers to concede further
discounts. The vehicle manufacturers are pushing for large price reductions as
their sales are far from robust. Demand for cold rolled coil from other market
sectors is also depressed.
Vehicle output fell again in March, year-on-year. Car
exports suffered because of competition from Japanese manufacturers who had the
advantage of a weaker yen. Building demand for coated material has also shown no
substantial revival but forecasts, for later in the year, indicate better
conditions. Steelmakers have been forced to offer a small incentive for the
fourth month in a row.
Foreign suppliers are taking an increasing share of the
South Korean H-beam market. The country’s steelmakers are urging the government
to initiate an anti-dumping investigation into imports from China. Poor
sentiment in the building sector, together with high volumes of cheap overseas
material, have led to another negative price movement.
Rebar selling figures have slipped, once again. The
negative movement has been caused by poor demand from a depressed building
sector and highly attractive offers from Chinese suppliers. Forecasters are
still predicting improved sales in the coming months.
Steel Review - April Issue
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