Poor Demand Restricts
Steel Price Rises as Raw Material Costs Increase
Raw material costs put upward pressure on
prices, in northern Europe, in March, but demand was insufficient to
support proposed hikes. Flat products selling values, were, for the
most part, unchanged, in euro equivalent terms. Regional mills have
spare production capacity and delivery lead times remain short.
Supply chain inventories are at a high level. Asian import offers
are, in most cases, not sufficiently cheap to be attractive.
Danish domestic selling values for hot rolled coil were rolled over,
from the previous month. Swedish industrial output is at a lower
level than last year. Prices are quite stable. Construction activity
has decreased in Finland, in recent months. Prices are unchanged, in
the Netherlands, amidst customer uncertainty and subdued demand.
Business activity is flat, in Norway.
Hot rolled plate consumption is steady in Austria, Sweden and
Norway. Market activity is subdued, in Denmark. EU safeguard quotas
are adding to buyers’ reluctance to place import orders. Finnish
domestic sales are weak, and selling values slipped. Delivery lead
times, from European suppliers, are very short. Buyers, in the
Netherlands, note an increasingly firm stance, on prices.
European-produced cold rolled coil is plentiful and substantial
shipments from Asia are expected. Selling values are unchanged, in
Denmark, this month, despite the regional mills’ wishes for
increases. Finnish service centres are well stocked. End-users are
resistant to price increases. Austrian stockists believe that prices
are at the bottom of the current cycle. Norwegian buyers are,
increasingly, sourcing from third country suppliers. With no
application of EU tariffs, offers from these sellers are very
Weak demand for coated sheet and coil from the automotive sector
persists. Galvanised material is abundant, in Denmark, and regional
mills are operating below full capacity. Market observers believe
that the peak for Swedish manufacturing activity has passed. Orders
from the auto supply chain remain depressed, in Finland. Buying
activity, by industrial consumers, is weak, in Austria. Norwegian
domestic demand is subdued.
Sales of wire rod to Swedish manufacturers are declining. Prices are
unchanged from those of last month, in euro equivalent terms.
Finnish consumption is fair, but pricing is tentative. Ex-mill
prices rose by around €10 per tonne, in the Netherlands, this month,
despite mediocre demand.
The Danish domestic market for medium sections and beams is quite
stable, although supply chain participants report that significant
rebates may be achieved, for large orders. The declining building
sector has been a major factor in the downturn in Swedish industry,
during the past year. A modest increase in Finnish domestic selling
figures was agreed, this month, as a result of rising raw material
costs. Construction industry participants, in the Netherlands,
report a positive outlook, but current demand is subdued. Mills
issued increased list prices, in March, but only small increments
were agreed with purchasers.
Soaring mill input costs supported rising reinforcing bar values, in
Sweden, in March. However, the effects, on the market, of the Vale
mine disaster, in Brazil, are expected to subside, soon. Buyers, in
the Netherlands, report offers of small parcels of Ukrainian
material. Rising raw material costs led to modest increases in rebar
values, in Austria. Local producers pressed for price hikes in
Norway but purchasers resisted.
Many EU buyers are refraining from placing orders on UK producers of
merchant bars. They are wary of the possibility of imminent post-Brexit
tariffs being applied. This has the effect of tightening supply, in
Source: MEPS -
European Steel Review
Supplement - March 2019 Issue
Also See: MEPS
All Products Composite Purchasing Price & Index
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