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Trade War Speculation Unsettles Emerging Steel Markets

Brazil

Challenging business conditions persist in Brazil. Domestic buyers remark that the current initiative to lift prices is ill-timed, counterproductive and would only escalate import tonnages.

Russia

Russian trading houses are booking for only immediate requirements due to price fluctuations and working capital problems. Activity deteriorated further, once the 2018 FIFA World Cup started. Shipments to construction and infrastructure projects remain steady, but demand from the commercial and private residential building sector is weak. End-users continue to experience financial problems.

India

In India, steel distributors, operating in southern states, witnessed a fall in business activity with the early onset of the monsoon season. Buyers are reluctant to purchase finished steel material and are waiting for prices to decline. Meanwhile, the Modi government announced that it will impose retaliatory tariffs on US finished steel goods (effective August 4).

Ukraine

The prognosis for the Ukrainian steel market is unchanged. Bearish dealers prefer to wait and observe the current market situation. Buying sentiment is shaped by expectations of further price fluctuations. Exporters lifted selling figures, actioned by an upturn in the cost of billet, slab and steelmaking raw materials.

Turkey

Challenging trading conditions persist in Turkey. Deliveries to downstream steel consuming industries remain slow, amid weak post-Ramadan demand growth and political uncertainty stemming from the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Additionally, exporters report that the tariffs on steel, imposed by the United States, have increased the competitiveness of their finished steel products, relative to their Canadian, Mexican and European counterparts.

UAE

Emirati service centres are extremely reluctant to purchase material in, what they deem as, precarious business conditions. Shipments to the construction sector and pipe fabricators remained slow in the trading period. During the summer months, building activity is constrained by high temperatures. Export opportunities are limited outside the GCC region.

South Africa

The trading environment remains downbeat in South Africa. Distributors condemned the latest upward adjustments as “unwarranted” given the current trading climate. Construction activity in the public sector is at a standstill, at present, as the market awaits government decisions on new investments.

Mexico

Purchasing activity remains moderate in Mexico. The majority of local stockists are refraining from signing any contracts at the moment. Shipments of finished steel products to the United States have halted, this month, due to uncertainty over US trade tariffs.

Source: MEPS Developing Markets Steel Review

People also read: EU Steel Prices Slip As Purchasing Slows

JSW Steel issues final acceptance for new process optimization in two steel works in Vijayanagar

Primetals Technologies has received the final acceptance certificate from JSW Steel for the new process automation system in a total of 25 subsystems in the SMS-1 und SMS-2 steel works in Vijayanagar, in the Indian state of Karnataka. The integrated automation solution also includes production monitoring and ladle tracking systems. It enables production and process data to be exchanged seamlessly between different units, and all subsystems to run with consistently optimized coordination. JSW Steel can now increase production and further improve product quality with the aid of optimized process sequences. The individual units were commissioned in stages within a tight schedule less than twelve months after the contract was signed.

New process automation systems were installed in steel works SMS-1 for two hot metal pre-treatment stations, each with a capacity of 100 metric tons, three 100 metric ton hot metal desulfurization stations, two ladle furnaces, each with a tapping weight of 135 metric tons, and four single-strand continuous slab casters. The existing basic automation system was also modernized in one of the casting machines. The process optimization systems of seven hot metal desulfurization stations and four ladle furnaces were modernized in steel works SMS-2. Both steel works were equipped with a ladle tracking system and central production monitoring. The scope of services also included the engineering and the supply of all the hardware and standard software, as well as the computer networks for both steel works. A user-friendly HMI system simplifies the operation of all plants. Some parts of the new process automation are web-based, and allow selective data access via the company intranet or the Internet. All the production and process data are archived for later evaluation, and can be analyzed in an extensive reporting system.

JSW Steel is India’s leading private steel producer, and has an installed annual production capacity of 14.3 million metric tons. The company currently has six plants in India: Vijayanagar in the state of Karnataka, Salem in Tamil Nadu, Tarapur in Vasind, and Kalmeshwar and Dolvi in Maharahstra. JSW Steel is part of the JSW Group, which also runs a plate and pipe plant in the USA.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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BRIC STEEL PRICES CONTINUE TO SLIDE, IN FEBRUARY

BRIC steel prices continue to be under pressure because of weak demand, global oversupply and the recent introduction of EU trade protection measures.

In February’s issue of the Developing Markets’ Steel Review, MEPS reported that the BRIC average transaction price, slipped, this month, across flat and long products.

Brazilian long product prices reduced slightly as market activity remained muted. Following the introduction of the minimum import price framework, in India, buyers are hesitant to place orders.

Russian cold-rolled sales to the European Union are likely to contract as the authorities set preliminary antidumping duties. However, local producers largely secured higher transaction prices, in February. Steel export orders rose on the back of the weak rouble.

Furthermore, domestic transaction prices for Chinese flat and long products are expected to rise in late-February as activity ramps up, especially in the construction sector, following the holidays.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – February Edition

BRIC STEEL PRICES TUMBLE FURTHER, IN JANUARY

BRIC steel prices continue to slide because of weak demand and global oversupply.

In the recent edition of the Developing Markets’ Steel Review, MEPS report that the BRIC average transaction price, softened, in January, across flat and long products.

Russian steelmakers offered discounted prices to secure mill output, in January, although we expect transaction values to rise next month. The Brazilian steel industry is being negatively affected by the poor economic climate domestically.

Turkish selling values mainly fell because of rising imports and muted demand.

However, domestic transaction prices for Chinese flat products advanced as local producers announced price hikes early, in January. As the Lunar New Year approaches, values have weakened as domestic consumption slows down.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – January Edition

DEVELOPING MARKETS STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

The outlook for demand in Brazil is unchanged. Local steelmakers are under pressure to reduce production targets in line with steel consumption rates.

Russian steel producers are growing more pessimistic about the prospects for domestic finished steel consumption in the first quarter of 2016. The majority have continued to search for new overseas buyers.

The market for finished steel in India has remained subdued in the post-Diwali period. Local service centres are extremely reluctant to purchase material in, what they deem as, tricky trading conditions. End-users have been wary of finalising purchases in a falling market.

The Ukrainian steel market has entered a period of low seasonal demand. Shipments to industrial companies have continued to deteriorate in the trading period surveyed.

Turkish steelmakers are increasingly looking overseas for new buyers. Local stockists plan to persevere with conservative inventory levels in the short term.

The business environment remains challenging in the United Arab Emirates. Local construction firms are unwilling to purchase more steel than they need to meet their near-term requirements. The downward movement in import quotations has made them reluctant to do any significant deals at this stage.

Mexican distributors plan to hold off purchasing until January to see how demand develops. The National Chamber of Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO) continues to press the government to impose stricter trading rules and criteria for importing steel.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – November Edition

 

DEVELOPING MARKETS ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

The outlook for the Brazilian steel market remains precarious. Distributors are booking for only immediate requirements due to continuing price fluctuations and weak economic fundamentals.

Russian steelmakers have had mixed success in their efforts to advance transaction values. Local trading houses stress that the latest price initiative does not reflect real demand. Long product steelmakers have delayed releasing their October basis quotations.

Price volatility has hampered trading in India. Domestic steelmakers have continued to press the government to give locally manufactured primary steel products extra protection from third country suppliers.

Chinese steel prices have continued to trend downwards. Distributors have been reluctant to place new business, citing tepid end-user demand.

Ukrainian trading houses are booking for immediate requirements only, due to high inventory levels and in anticipation of further price reductions.

The Turkish steel industry has struggled to adapt to the muted domestic trading environment. Local service centres are extremely reluctant to purchase material in, what they deem as, tricky trading conditions.

The business climate in the United Arab Emirates is unchanged since our August report. Procurement activity by small and medium sized construction companies has stagnated. The downward movement in import quotations has made it too risky for them to do any deals at this stage.

Conditions in the South African market have exhibited little sign of improvement. Local service centres plan to persevere with conservative procurement strategies in October.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – September Edition