The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABr) has reported that domestic finished steel sales in February totalled 1.48 million tonnes – down 15.6 percent, compared with last year’s figure. Nevertheless, the Brazilian steel industry remains upbeat over the general outlook for 2015.

The business environment remains challenging in the Russian Federation. Local trading houses have queried whether the latest domestic price levels are supported by market and economic fundamentals. There is reluctance on the part of end-users to commit to forward orders.

Indian stockists remain cautious about the strength of underlying consumption in the April-June period. The majority are booking for immediate requirements only, due to continuing price fluctuations. Moreover, the Union Budget failed to provide the domestic steel industry with any respite. The import duty on both flat steel and long steel products was maintained at 7.5 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively.

In Ukraine, distributors have struggled to adapt to the unpredictable business environment. Shipments to industrial companies continued to deteriorate in the trading period surveyed.

Turkish steelmakers have had mixed success in their efforts to advance transaction values to distributors. End-users are reluctant to take positions, following the recent volatility in both domestic and import quotations.

Business sentiment is unchanged in the United Arab Emirates. Distributors are holding off purchasing to see how demand develops. Moreover, Emirati rolling mills are likely to reduce their April selling figures.

Business sentiment remains subdued in South Africa and prices are unchanged this month. Local stockists expect sales volumes to stay muted in the second quarter.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – March Edition