NORDIC STEEL MARKET
ROUNDUP FROM MEPS
Mills in northern Europe
continue to have difficulty implementing advances for strip mill
products according to the latest report by MEPS. Hot rolled coil
sales activity has slowed since the end of September. Market
participants believe that business in the final quarter may be more
Business is fair in the cold rolled coil market but there are few
big orders. Local producers are trying to lift their selling values
but they cannot succeed while iron ore costs are falling and demand
is weak. Many automotive and other manufacturers are buying large
tonnages of galvanised coil from the mills. There is little threat
from imports as the price differential is not enough to make up for
the longer shipping times.
Commodity plate prices were unchanged month-on-month. Manufacturers
of agricultural equipment report losing sales to customers in Russia
and Ukraine because of the unrest there. Demand from truck makers is
fair, in Sweden. However, other heavy industries have slowed
significantly. Project activity is fluctuating, in Norway. Sales to
offshore applications are at a low level compared with recent years.
Wire rod consumption picked up a little, immediately after the
summer break, but has now returned to the previous level. No change
in activity is anticipated in the short term, although a small
seasonal downturn is likely during the final months of 2014. The
conflict in the Ukraine has had some negative effect on sales.
Producers proposed a small increase, in October, for structural
sections but were unsuccessful. Sales volumes and transaction values
are stable. Building activity is fair. No great change is foreseen
during the final quarter.
Activity in the rebar market has shown some improvement of late.
However, there is a risk that scrap costs and consequently, steel
prices, will follow the downward path of iron ore values.
Furthermore, demand will diminish if there is a severe winter.
Day-to-day business for merchant bar is subdued and there are few
enquiries. Orders for farm machinery have been adversely affected by
the unrest in the Ukraine. Local suppliers are struggling to lift
selling figures due to the generally depressed market in Western
Steel Review Supplement - October Edition
Also See: MEPS
Nordic Index and MEPS Nordic
Free Sample copy
European Steel Review Supplement