Business Deteriorates in emerging steel markets

DEVELOPING MARKETS HIGHLIGHTS – FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Brazilian steelmakers have begun to lower production targets in reaction to weak underlying demand, high inventory levels and negative price sentiment. The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABr) has reported that finished steel sales in the home market during May totalled 1.49 million tonnes – down 1.3 percent, compared with the previous month’s figure. Meanwhile, the Brazilian flat steel distributor association, INDA, has indicated that imports of flat steel products totalled 175,757 tonnes – a fall of 19.6 percent.

The outlook for the Russian steel market is unchanged. Domestic steelmakers have delayed releasing their preliminary July basis quotations for both flat and long finished steel products.

Ukrainian trading houses remain bearish about the prospects for domestic steel consumption in the remainder of 2015. However, the local association of metal producers, Metallurgprom, has forecast that crude steel production in July will total 2.3 million tonnes – up 5.6 percent compared with May’s output figure.

Buying activity has slowed in Turkey. End-users have begun to press for lower prices, in view of the downward movement being witnessed in other global steel markets.

The trading environment has weakened in the United Arab Emirates. Stockists do not expect to witness a recovery until after the Eid holidays, which mark the end of the Ramadan festival. Local steel producers have also faced stiff price competition from Chinese, Indian and CIS suppliers.

In South Africa, deliveries to downstream steel consuming industries have slowed, amid negative price expectations and weak underlying demand growth. The South African Iron & Steel Institute (SAISI) has stated that imports of finished carbon and alloy steel products totalled 101,188 tonnes in April – down 28.7 percent, month-on-month.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – June Edition