Over the past thirty years the steel industry has undergone massive changes. The selling price remains a key element inthe buyers’ decision making process. As the market has become more international, local mills are usually required to consider foreign competition when setting offers to domestic customers.
Important decisions for the management of manufacturing organisations are often associated with steel procurement. Selling values are also a key element to be considered in the operations of the steelmakers. Independently researched steel price data and market information is useful for both sides.
In 1984, MEPS produced its first carbon steel price and market report – European Steel Review. The main six countries in the EU9 were analysed. The pricing information and market insight proved to be popular. Several manufacturers started to use the published figures to create monthly indices to agree, with their customers, changes in their input costs. Such index pricing continues to this day.
After enlargement of the EU, similar research was conducted in a further six European countries and the results incorporated in a second carbon steel report. This was issued as a supplement to the original version.
In the mid 1990’s it became clear that the global steel industry was in a period of transition. Demand in the west was flatlining. Most of the growth in consumption was coming from Asia. Consequently, in 1995, MEPS started to provide a new report to highlight carbon steel price and market data in non-European markets. International Steel Review was born – with coverage in eight countries located across Asia, North America, and Eastern Europe.
Demand for stainless steel was starting to grow around the middle of the 1990s as new applications were being discovered. MEPS introduced its report, Stainless Steel Review, in 1997 to provide market information on this rapidly growing sector. Monthly data is provided for thirteen countries on three continents.
The world order for steel started to change at the beginning of the new millennium. New demand and capacity was being established in a number of emerging countries around the world, including a number in South America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia. MEPS responded to this change by introducing, in 2009, its fourth carbon steel report – Developing Markets Steel Review, adding a further eight countries to the portfolio.
Over the past 30 years China has developed into the largest steel producing and exporting country. As a result, in 2011, MEPS introduced a new monthly report dedicated to showing all the main activities of the steel sector and their influence on other countries.
April 2014 is also the 10th anniversary of the introduction of MEPS unique “on-line” regional carbon and stainless steel price forecasts.
Source: MEPS – European Steel Review