MEPS research reveals that strip mill product selling values have decreased, across the Nordic region, in euro terms, during July. Consequently, mill profit margins have been squeezed. Demand for hot rolled coil remained stable at a low level. The producers’ sales volumes are expected to pick up, after the summer break. Overcapacity persisted in the cold rolled coil market. Competition between the distribution businesses of SSAB and Rautaruukki continued to keep prices under negative pressure, before the details of their merger were finalised. Sales of galvanised material to the automotive sector remain fair. Demand is expected to remain steady throughout the summer and market participants are hopeful of an upturn thereafter.
Sales tonnages, for commodity plate, were steady in Denmark and Sweden as suppliers attempted to maximise orders in advance of the slowdown during the holiday period. Market sentiment was less positive in Finland. As a whole, prices were unaltered across northern Europe.
Structural section selling figures decreased, in euro terms, despite strong consumption in some countries. Activity in the Swedish rebar market was robust as several major projects were in progress. On the other hand, there was little infrastructure investment in other countries researched. As a result, ex-mill prices were lower, month on month. There is expectation that public spending will increase in the near future. Transaction values, for merchant bar, decreased in July. Demand from the manufacturing sector was at a good level in Sweden. However, we noted a seasonal slowdown in business activity in other Scandinavian countries.