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News

EU average carbon steel prices - latest forecasts from MEPS

MEPS (International) : 08 April, 2005  (New Product)
The general weak market conditions in the strip mill segment extended into March - as customers held back on ordering due to high inventories.
The general weak market conditions in the strip mill segment extended into March - as customers held back on ordering due to high inventories. Most EU producers have been indicating an increase of at least 15 per tonne for second quarter deliveries. It is now becoming clear that such rises will be difficult to achieve - given the high level of stocks in the supply chain. In fact, we are reporting small decreases in March for the coated and cold rolled products.

We forecast slow but steady deterioration in strip mill prices over the next twelve months. Any possible gains which may have been obtained from higher input costs will probably be lost due to the current oversupply situation. Any price recovery will depend on the mills curtailing production soon.

Plate prices also slipped this month. However, the prospects are for increases in the second quarter. However, the malaise in the strip segment is likely to work through into the plate market in late Summer.

In the long products sector, the poor Winter weather extended into March. The anticipated price stability was transformed into significant reductions as a result.

We believe that demand will pick up for all products in May. Moreover, the escalating price of iron ore and coal will probably lead to higher scrap costs when consumption rises. We forecast price rises in the period May to September for all long product categories. However, a decrease is anticipated in the final months of 2005 and should continue into 2006.

Source: MEPS - STEEL PRICES ON-LINE (regional steel price tables & forecasts)
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