material costs put upward pressure on prices, in northern Europe, in March, but
demand was insufficient to support proposed hikes. Flat products selling
values, were, for the most part, unchanged, in euro equivalent terms. Regional
mills have spare production capacity and delivery lead times remain short.
Supply chain inventories are at a high level. Asian import offers are, in most
cases, not sufficiently cheap to be attractive.
domestic selling values for hot rolled coil were rolled over, from the previous
month. Swedish industrial output is at a lower level than last year. Prices are
quite stable. Construction activity has decreased in Finland, in recent months.
Prices are unchanged, in the Netherlands, amidst customer uncertainty and
subdued demand. Business activity is flat, in Norway.
rolled plate consumption is steady in Austria, Sweden and Norway. Market
activity is subdued, in Denmark. EU safeguard quotas are adding to buyers’
reluctance to place import orders. Finnish domestic sales are weak, and selling
values slipped. Delivery lead times, from European suppliers, are very short.
Buyers, in the Netherlands, note an increasingly firm stance, on prices.
cold rolled coil is plentiful and substantial shipments from Asia are expected.
Selling values are unchanged, in Denmark, this month, despite the regional
mills’ wishes for increases. Finnish service centres are well stocked.
End-users are resistant to price increases. Austrian stockists believe that
prices are at the bottom of the current cycle. Norwegian buyers are,
increasingly, sourcing from third country suppliers. With no application of EU
tariffs, offers from these sellers are very attractive.
demand for coated sheet and coil from the automotive sector persists.
Galvanised material is abundant, in Denmark, and regional mills are operating
below full capacity. Market observers believe that the peak for Swedish
manufacturing activity has passed. Orders from the auto supply chain remain
depressed, in Finland. Buying activity, by industrial consumers, is weak, in
Austria. Norwegian domestic demand is subdued.
of wire rod to Swedish manufacturers are declining. Prices are unchanged from
those of last month, in euro equivalent terms. Finnish consumption is fair, but
pricing is tentative. Ex-mill prices rose by around €10 per tonne, in the
Netherlands, this month, despite mediocre demand.
Danish domestic market for medium sections and beams is quite stable, although
supply chain participants report that significant rebates may be achieved, for
large orders. The declining building sector has been a major factor in the
downturn in Swedish industry, during the past year. A modest increase in
Finnish domestic selling figures was agreed, this month, as a result of rising
raw material costs. Construction industry participants, in the Netherlands,
report a positive outlook, but current demand is subdued. Mills issued
increased list prices, in March, but only small increments were agreed with
mill input costs supported rising reinforcing bar values, in Sweden, in March.
However, the effects, on the market, of the Vale mine disaster, in Brazil, are
expected to subside, soon. Buyers, in the Netherlands, report offers of small
parcels of Ukrainian material. Rising raw material costs led to modest
increases in rebar values, in Austria. Local producers pressed for price hikes
in Norway but purchasers resisted.
Many EU buyers are refraining from placing orders on UK producers of merchant bars. They are wary of the possibility of imminent post-Brexit tariffs being applied. This has the effect of tightening supply, in the region.
MEPS International Ltd is a Steel Market Analyst, tacking prices of steel products around the globe. Publishing monthly steel reviews as well as online steel price data. to find out more about MEPS visit www.meps.co.uk
Source: MEPS International – European Steel Review Supplement – March 2019