Tag Archives: South Korean


US flat product transaction values continued to slip in October as many mills offered discounts to gain orders. Buyers were postponing the conclusion of deals in the hope of cheaper prices in the future. However, on October 28, AK Steel announced its intention to lift values by US$20 per short ton, with immediate effect. Demand has softened a little, partly for seasonal reasons. At the same time, availability has expanded, both from domestic and overseas sources. High prices in the US, relative to the rest of the world, have attracted a great deal of interest from steelmakers in other regions. Moreover, raw material costs are declining. Service centre inventories are also growing as their business slows.

In Canada, we have noted downward price movements on uncoated strip mill products. Buyers are expecting producers to be even more flexible when negotiations open for December deliveries. There is little optimism in the marketplace, with customers only purchasing for their immediate needs. Inventories appear to be steady, with no stock building.

Chinese steel consumption is contracting due to slower economic growth. This has put even more negative pressure on raw material costs and on the price of steel. Meanwhile, inventories continue to grow, both at the mills and in the marketplace. Traders are attempting to reduce their stocks. Consequently, steelmakers’ orders are reducing. Major producer, Baosteel, has announced that it will cut official ex-works domestic prices for strip mill products for deliveries in November. Overseas sales volumes hit record highs in September.

Japanese steel consumption continues to improve but much of the increased business is being picked up by importers. Indeed, in August, domestic mill orders were down by 3 percent, year-on-year, as export volumes also fell away. Flat product values were unchanged in October. However, Tokyo Steel has cut all official list prices for November delivery by ¥3000 per tonne to try to counteract cheap imports from China, despite higher energy costs. The company’s outlay on scrap has reduced considerably over the last few weeks.

South Korean producers are trying to cope with slowing economic growth and significant import pressure. In September, supplies of steel products from Japan increased for the first time in six months as the weak yen helped to push down prices. Chinese steelmakers are also gaining market share. The outlook remains pessimistic, with stagnant demand and oversupply, leading to further discounting this month. Producers are increasingly looking for export opportunities.

In Taiwan, local consumption is slowly recovering. However, major integrated producer, CSC, has announced that it will cut domestic list prices by an average of NT$646 per tonne (just over 3 percent) for December contracts, after three months of no change. Although this is a period when, traditionally, steel demand is at a peak, there is a great deal of competition from cheap imports, particularly of Chinese origin.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – October Issue


Global crude stainless steel production is predicted to reach a new record annual total of 40.2 million tonnes, in 2014 as reported by MEPS. This would exceed the previous high figure, set last year, by 5.7 percent. Output is expected to grow in all of the major stainless steel making countries and regions.Stainless Steel Review

Some of the established stainless steel producing areas are performing more strongly than had been anticipated. Output in the EU, in the first six months of this year, is estimated at around 4 million tonnes. A twelve-month total of 7.55 million tonnes is forecast, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.7 percent.

Output in the United States, in the first half of 2014, has also outstripped our previous forecast. The annual outturn for the year is now predicted at 2.1 million tonnes, an increase of 3.4 percent over the 2013 figure.

The recovery in Japan continues at the expected rate. Production in the period from January to June is reckoned to be 1.65 million tonnes. A similar figure is anticipated for the second half of the year, to give an annual total of 3.3 million tonnes – 4 percent greater than in the previous year.

South Korean production is predicted expected to turn out at 2.15 million tonnes for the whole of 2014. This equates to a 1.9 percent increases over last year. Our forecast for stainless steel output in Taiwan, this year, has been uprated to 1.125 million tonnes – a year-on-year advance of 4.1 percent.

Expansion in the emerging economies will continue at a higher rate than in the traditional areas. Chinese production has exceeded expectations during the first half of 2014 and is anticipated to expand by 6.4 percent year-on-year, to achieve an annual figure of 20.2 million tonnes – more than half of the global total.

Crude stainless steelmaking in the rest of the world is predicted at 3.775 million tonnes, this year, giving a growth rate of 7.8 percent over the 2013 total.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – July Issue