Tag Archives: merchant bar


Hot rolled coil figures, in the UK, are under negative pressure, according to MEPS. Delivery lead times are relatively short. There is strong import competition from Turkey.

Commodity plate figures have weakened, since September. Third country offers are placing pressure on domestic selling figures. Customers are reluctant to purchase Chinese plate because of its high chromium content. Distributors note that, overall, day-to-day sales volumes remain poor. Consumption by the mining, oil and gas industries has declined considerably.

Coated coil transaction values are down since September. The vehicle sector is healthy, although Land Rover and Jaguar’s order books have dropped because of reduced exports to China. Distributors are busy with sales to the building industry.

Prices for low carbon wire rod dipped over the last four weeks. The high carbon grades are holding up better. Mesh quality selling values have fallen due to lower scrap prices. Sales to the building sector are healthy.

Demand for structural sections, in September, was quieter than many distributors envisaged. Resale prices continue to slide, ahead of perceived mill decreases as stockholders try to move inventories. There is overcapacity in this sector. Negative pressure exists due to the availability of cheap raw materials.

Rebar demand is fairly stable at a good level. The issue is one of oversupply. Chinese material, ordered earlier in 2015, is still arriving. However, the appetite for forward orders, despite ever reducing price offers, has diminished because of the ongoing anti-dumping investigation.

The negative pressure on merchant bar selling values persists, despite reasonable demand, which has not really changed since 2014. The downward price trend is creating problems for distributors because of the continual devaluation of their stocks. The main import threat is mainly from European sources.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – October 2015 Issue


After a slight upward adjustment, last month, steel prices in most parts of the world continued on their, now familiar, downward path in June.

The reduction in the MEPS Global Steel Price is the result of fallout from the collapse in the cost of iron ore as the mining companies made huge investments in new capacity. For this reason the substantial steel selling price reductions have not been a major disaster for the world’s steel manufacturers. A significant amount of the erosion in mill revenue has been offset by a substantial decrease in the cost of steelmaking raw materials.

In the steel sector, decreasing selling prices are no guarantee of a substantial upturn in demand – particularly in an oversupplied market. When steel prices start to slide, the buyers will often postpone ordering material in the hope that lower prices will develop in the future. Inventory building is reduced, which in turn creates no discernible improvement in market size in the short term.

In the United States, GDP growth has, once again been revised upwards. It now stands at minus 0.2 percent, for the first quarter of 2015. The Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI for manufacturing) increased last month to 52.8 – a positive sign. The majority of buyers continue to purchase only for their immediate requirements. The prospects of a substantial steel price revival are poor. The threat of cheap overseas imports is ever present.

The Canadian steel market is still moving at a slow pace. Delivery lead times from the mills are shortening. The economy is weak. Substantial quantities of imports have already arrived at the ports. Steel inventories at the OEM’s are in decline. Service centre stocks are starting to return to normal levels.

Chinese finished steel output increased in May by approximately 2 percentage points, month-on-month. The domestic market is unable to utilise such an increase in tonnage. Exports have expanded by over 30 percent, year-on-year, in the first five months of 2015 but they are insufficient to take up the excess domestic supply. Some steel mills are reportedly making a loss of 300 yuan on each tonne of steel produced.

In Japan, the local currency has weakened recently. This should enable exporters of manufactured goods to be more competitive in global markets. Raw material input costs are, however, rising. Signs of a slight improvement in economic activity are on the horizon.

The South Korean Trade Commission recently responded to complaints about foreign imports of structural sections into the country by imposing anti-dumping duties on material from a range of suppliers. Seven mills were exempt when they agreed to lift selling values. Steel imports are on a decreasing path. In April, a year-on-year, reduction was reported, whilst, in May, the decrease was 11 percent.

The Taiwanese steel market has been influenced by price movements in China. Reinforcing bar list prices have been reduced. We detected very few positive vibes from the market this month.

The Czech and Slovak economic growth figures remain encouraging, with GNP figures in the first quarter at 2.9 and 3.9 percent, respectively. The Ukrainian crisis is weighing heavily on the fortunes of both countries. In Poland, the flat products sector has been quite steady this month.

Steel demand in Western Europe is holding up reasonably well. The mills are experiencing strong competition from imports. The European Commission has instigated an anti-dumping investigation against imports of cold rolled coil from China and Russia. Selling figures are under negative pressure in most member states.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – June Issue


Hot rolled coil selling figures, in South Korea, remained steady month-on-month, in May, according to MEPS. Demand is subdued, amidst an inflow of low-priced imports from China and a slowing economic recovery.

Domestic oversupply, low-cost Chinese imports and poor demand from an ailing construction industry are depressing commodity plate transaction values. Moreover, the shipbuilding market is sluggish. We have noted another downward price correction.

Orders in the cold rolled coil general market are depressed and vehicle sales are far from robust. This weak domestic consumption, combined with strong rivalry from Chinese suppliers, has forced local steelmakers to concede further discounts.

The South Korean vehicle manufacturers continue to push for price reductions because of slow sales at home and abroad. Building demand for coated material shows no substantial revival. Steelmakers have been forced to offer discounts. Prices have now undergone negative movements for five months in a row.

Rebar selling figures have slipped again. The negative movement has been caused by poor demand from a depressed building sector and highly attractive Chinese offers. Local producers are pinning their hopes on forecasts of better sales in the coming months.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – May Issue


Indian hot rolled coil selling figures were steady in May, month-on-month, according to MEPS. However, end-users were still only purchasing for immediate requirements.

Indian customers have preferred to delay bookings, for commodity plate, in anticipation of further price concessions from both domestic and foreign suppliers. Meanwhile, coated coil transaction values held firm despite subdued market confidence.

Negative price expectations have gain momentum in the wire rod market. Distributors operating in Durgapur, Mumbai and Raipur claim that the downward pressure is the result of the availability of foreign products.

Purchasing activity for rebar has begun to soften. End-users are hesitating about placing orders, whereas the steelmakers are keen to close deals.

Merchant bar stockists continue to be hesitant about placing orders. This is due to tight credit conditions, low end-user demand and expectations of further price cuts.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – May Edition
Also See: MEPS Indian Steel Prices Online


Although US hot rolled coil customers were, initially, sceptical regarding the price hike announcements, recent settlements have reflected an increase, according to MEPS. Buyers report that delivery lead times are now well into June and suppliers are pushing for further rises beyond that date.

Hot rolled plate transaction values continue to deteriorate. However, mills report an uptick in demand in recent weeks due to declining inventories and stronger customer needs. Current delivery lead times, however, remain at four weeks. Meanwhile import volumes have slowed.

The negative price trend, for cold rolled coil, has been halted. Local mills have successfully negotiated a rise. Buyers are less keen to purchase from overseas whilst the authorities contemplate trade action. Many market players expect cases to be filed shortly. Service centre stocks are still overbuilt, but are reducing.

US auto demand is stable at a high level. Construction activity continues to improve but remains well below potential. Appliance makers have noticed a flattening in demand as a result of the strong US dollar. Coated steel transaction values reached the bottom in late April and are now moving up.

Sales of beams have still to pick up, despite better signals from the non-residential construction sector. Import availability is plentiful.

Rebar import prices are moving up. However, domestic transaction numbers have declined during recent settlements. Demand from the residential construction market is slow to improve.

Service centre sales of merchant bar have declined considerably compared with 2014 as agricultural and mining demand has fallen away. The domestic mills are carrying surplus stock. Imports from Turkey have slowed in recent months but supplies from Mexico are plentiful.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – May Issue


UK commodity plate prices are still higher than those in most of mainland Europe, according to MEPS. This is attracting imports, aided by the strength of sterling. Resale values are still under pressure. The lack of investment in the oil industry means sales to that sector have plummeted. Construction demand has held up but selling figures have been damaged by the availability of cheap Chinese material.

Buyers report that Russian suppliers of cold rolled coil have reduced their offers. Domestic basis number have weakened slightly from the reduced level established in April. Customers consider the bottom has been reached for coated coil transaction values. There are fewer, cheap Chinese offers. The vehicle sector is healthy and distributors are busy with sales to the building industry.

Prices for structural sections have tumbled as order intake has slowed. The weak euro has given mainland European suppliers significant advantages. The environment for distributors is increasingly challenging as lower ex-mill values have led to stock losses. Even so, there appears to be no resolve on their part to push resale values up. The larger players are selling at particularly low numbers. April was quieter than expected but there should be plenty of activity in the future.

UK rebar prices for forward orders are at a similar level to last month. Despite healthy underlying demand, the domestic producer has little possibility of lifting values at the moment. There is severe import pressure, mainly from Chinese sources but also from mainland European suppliers taking advantage of the current exchange rate. There is plenty of material sitting at the docks and service centre stocks are considered to be a little on the high side.

Some price erosion was noted for merchant bar, during the latter part of April, but, since then, things have stabilised. Service centre stocks are reasonable. There are plenty of offers from mainland Europe due to the weak euro.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – May Issue