Tag Archives: Sweden

STAINLESS STEEL COLD ROLLED COIL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Demand for cold rolled coil from the automotive and other manufacturing sectors, in the United States, has improved according to MEPS. Delivery lead times are long and shipments from the mills are often late. This has encouraged end-users to buy from stock. The producers’ proposed basis price hike for July has been pushed back to August. Buyers may demonstrate further resistance to increases.Stainless Steel Review

Despite Japan’s leading producer, NSSC, trying to raise domestic list prices for austenitic coils, market transaction values have remained unchanged, this month. In South Korea, imports from Chinese and other East Asian suppliers have increased significantly during renovation work by the local producer, Posco. The company may lose market share, in the longer term, as the quality of standard items from China has been found to be satisfactory.

Customers in Taiwan remain cautious despite the relatively stable nickel costs in recent months. Underlying demand is disappointing. The local mills have cut domestic prices for austenitic coils. Ferritic transaction values are unchanged. While Chinese producers have differing views on domestic list prices, market values for type 304 coils have fallen in the past month. Some mills are offering material at discounted figures, in an attempt to increase their cash flow. Selling values for grade 430 coils, which had been stable for several months, recorded a small reduction in mid-July.

There has been a moderate advance in austenitic coil basis figures, in Germany. Buyers in France report increased basis numbers for coil and sheet from stock as well as new production. There is not much imported steel available on the French market, at present, as there is little price differential between European and third country coils. However, there is plenty of Asian material in Italian stockholders’ inventories which, having been bought when prices were lower, is keeping current values down.

Cold rolled coil and sheet sales activity in the UK has been quite good in June and July but profit margins remain tight. Some items are in short supply. Buyers anticipate nickel costs rising during the second half of 2014. Austenitic basis figures in Spain are unchanged, this month, but the mills have indicated their intention to increase prices in September. Purchasers are doubtful that this can happen unless it is supported by improved demand or rising nickel costs.

There has been no real sign, as yet, of an upturn in the Swedish stainless steel market. There is plenty of material available and no speculative buying. Some stockists are undercutting the mills in order to shift tonnes. Market values have grown in the Netherlands but it is possible to get one-off deals, from the mills, at lower prices. Demand is fair, at present. Market participants hope it will improve in the remainder of the year. Consumption is reasonable, in Denmark. Sellers’ order loads are at the normal level for the time of year. Regional mills’ schedules are quite full.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – July Issue

STEEL PRICES UNDER NEGATIVE PRESSURE IN NORTHERN EUROPE – MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

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’ European Steel Supplementsales 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.

Source – MEPS European Steel Review Supplement – July 2014 Edition

STEEL PRICES REMAIN WEAK IN NORTHERN EUROPE – MEPS

Steel market participants in Scandinavia reported good levels of business activity in recent weeks. However, sales volumes in these countries are not sufficient to outweigh the disappointing situation in the wider region of Western Europe. Raw material European Steel Supplementcosts are low, demand across the continent as a whole is flat and the mills continue to operate at significantly less than their maximum capacities. As a result, prices are under negative pressure and average transaction values for most products have slipped, this month.

Consumption of strip mill products is fair but suppliers are meeting strong opposition in their efforts to lift prices. Offers from Russian sellers are not sufficiently cheap to be attractive, given the longer delivery lead times. The distribution arms of SSAB and Rautaruukki continue to compete for market share, prior to their proposed merger. This is keeping selling values low in Sweden and Finland. Large cold rolled coil customers are now negotiating contracts for the third quarter. The mills are unlikely to achieve better than rollover figures. The market for hot rolled coil is particularly flat and prices have fallen by more than those for the cold rolled product, in several countries. Processors of galvanised material continue to receive healthy order volumes from car manufacturers in the north and west of Europe.

Overcapacity at European mills and competition between stockists are limiting the profitability of producing and trading steel, despite improving economic indicators. The truck maker, Scania, is buying substantial volumes of plate, in Sweden. Demand from the construction sector is increasing, in some countries. The potential for price inflation is restricted by import offers from Eastern Europe.

In Sweden, demand for structural sections has held up well through the mild winter. However, demand is weak, in many countries, and there is stiff competition between sellers. As a result, ex-mill prices are down and distributors, too, must cut their transaction figures in order to secure sales. Demand for rebar is quite strong in Sweden. This is mainly driven by infrastructure schemes in the Stockholm area. On the other hand, government investment in new projects is at a low level, in most of Europe, and sales tonnages are decreasing slightly as the summer draws near. Although demand for merchant bar, from the manufacturing sector, has picked up in the last three months, there is plenty of material available and delivery lead times are short. Prices have softened, in June.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review Supplement

NEW YEAR BRINGS GENTLE UPTURN IN NORTH EUROPEAN STEEL PRICES – MEPS

Steel market participants have, for some time, been predicting a moderate pickup in steel sales volumes and prices, in northern Europe, during the first half of 2014. Although there has been no spectacular increase in tonnages, the mills schedules are filling and delivery lead times are lengthening. Selling values for most products have recorded small advances, in January, in the majority of countries reviewed. In all other cases, gains are anticipated in the near future.

Coil producers need increased prices in order to be profitable. Accordingly, they have proposed higher numbers for January or first quarter contracts. While the new figures were not immediately accepted in all instances, buyers concede that values will rise in the near term. Offers from third country suppliers are only marginally cheaper than from European mills and are, therefore not attractive.

The market for reversing mill plate remains weak compared to that for strip mill products. Transaction values have risen slightly in Sweden. Market participants in other countries foresee possible small increases during the first half of this year, although some sellers believe they may have to wait until the second quarter to achieve higher volumes and prices.

There has been no severe winter weather, so far, in northern Europe. Consequently, demand for long products, from the construction sector, has held up at a higher level than is normal for this time of year. Furthermore, scrap prices increased in December. As result, transaction values for structural sections rose, in most countries, in January. On the other hand, rebar prices, in most instances remained stable. Merchant bar values have recorded moderate advances, supported by improving demand from the manufacturing sector.

 Source: European Steel Review Supplement