PRICE VOLATILITY UNSETTLES BUYING SENTIMENT IN SEVERAL EMERGING STEEL MARKETS

MEPS BRIC average flat product carbon steel transaction prices, measured in US dollars, increased in June – despite reductions recorded in Brazil and China. Average figures for the long products declined – irrespective of recoveries in Russia and India.

Purchasing activity has begun to exhibit signs of stagnation in Ukraine. Shipments to industrial companies in June were weaker than predicted, particularly to tube and pipe fabricators.Developing Markets Steel Review

Procurement activity in Turkey remains erratic. Stockists are booking for only immediate requirements due to price fluctuations and the close proximity of Ramadan. The downward price trend of key steelmaking ingredients has only aggravated the situation. Support from external demand is limited.

Procurement activity in the United Arab Emirates was less vigorous than in May. Underlying demand for finished steel products has fallen short of industry projections – particularly, from construction firms and pipe fabricators. Local steel producers continue to face stiff price competition from Chinese, Indian and CIS suppliers.

South African service centres are growing more pessimistic about the prospects for domestic steel consumption in the remainder of 2014. Service centres have started to downgrade inventory levels to minimise potential losses from labour strike action. Deliveries to downstream industries have continued to underperform.

The outlook for the Mexican steel market is unchanged. Domestic mills plan to persevere with their “US dollar indexed” pricing strategies. Meanwhile, the National Chamber of Iron and Steel Industry (Canacero) has forecast that finished steel production in 2014 will total 19 million tonnes – a year-on-year increase of 4.3 percent.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review