activity and steel consumption are stronger, generally, in Scandinavia, than in
the rest of Europe. Regional producers attempted to reverse the negative price
tendency, and improve their profitability, by introducing increased selling
values, for coils, sheets and plates, in June. Buyers, however, took a
different view, and small price reductions were recorded, for most products, in
the countries surveyed.
The poor regional sales environment kept hot rolled coil prices
on a downward trend, in Denmark. Swedish purchasing activity is quite stable. Distributors,
in Finland, are reported to be selling cheaply, in an effort to reduce their
inventories. In the Netherlands, sales volumes are below forecast levels but
transaction values appear to have bottomed out. European mill output cuts are
having little effect on the Austrian market. Norwegian domestic sales are
end-user demand for hot rolled plate remains subdued. The Finnish market is
quite strong. Demand is solid but unspectacular, in the Netherlands. In Austria,
a small decline in transaction values was reported.
rolled coil selling values remain on a negative path, despite European mill
production cuts. Market participants believe that increased demand will be
needed, to lift prices, following the summer holiday season. Finnish market
activity is likely to reduce, significantly, as the summer vacation period
approaches. Mill delivery lead times are stretching, in the Netherlands. Buying
is weak, in Austria. Purchase volumes, in the Norwegian home market, are good.
coated sheet and coil to the automotive sectors remain subdued. Prices, in
Denmark, continue to be on a downward curve. In Sweden, sales to
non-residential building projects are healthy. European mills were unable to
lift selling values, this month, in Norway, but increases are expected.
for wire rod, from Swedish end-users, is strong. Orders from manufacturers are
less robust, in Finland. Mill delivery lead times are short, and material is plentiful.
Low sales volumes are expected, in the third quarter, due to widespread
holidays and plant maintenance stoppages. The next tranche of EC steel quota
availability will put more imported material onto the market, in July. Demand
is inconsistent, in the Netherlands.
prices remain under negative pressure, in Denmark. Steelmakers are reducing
their output but Norwegian buyers report capacity available on imminent rolling
programmes. Commercial building activity is at a good level, in Sweden. Demand
from the building sector, in Finland, is quite weak. Sales volumes are
satisfactory, in the Netherlands, and EU mills are pushing for increases.
Construction activity is at a low level, in Austria.
reinforcing bar demand is fair, in Denmark, but regional consumption is weak.
Sales, for infrastructure and non-residential building projects, are strong, in
Sweden. Transaction values declined, in the Netherlands, in June. Austrian
domestic prices decreased, amidst disappointing construction and infrastructure
Danish buyers of merchant bars report modest order loads, on regional mills. Weak demand, in northern Europe, is having a negative effect on selling values. Supply chain participants believe that a substantial upturn in demand would be required to reverse the existing price trend.
Source: MEPS European Steel Review Supplement