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News

Asian average carbon steel price forecast for December 2004

MEPS (International) : 11 January, 2005  (New Product)
The further strong rise in the value of most Asian steel prices has prompted MEPS to lift its forecasts.


Chinese flat products inventories are low and consumption is satisfactory. Following Baosteel's lead, several other major steel makers have now lifted selling values. Japanese steel prices have steadied over the past few months and are likely to remain stable through most of the first quarter. The South Korean economy is slow but steel consumption is forecast to keep firm during 2005. Prices in Taiwan are expected to rise in the first quarter as the mills try to get ahead of cost rises in the New Year.

The further strong rise in the value of most Asian steel prices has prompted us to lift our forecasts. We still believe that further price advances are expected early in the New Year and should extend into early Spring. However, a steady reduction is predicted over the last three trimesters as over supply develops in the region.

Exchange rates also had an impact on long products. Wire rod and merchant bar values slipped a little in national currencies in China and Taiwan in our December reports. These declines were more than offset by the decrease in the value of the US dollar.

We maintain our twelve month forecast for wire rod - anticipating a slow but steady fall in the coming months as oversupply develops in the region. Our predictions for 2005 for the remaining three products show a price decline through the Winter period with the figures stabilising due to improved construction later in the year.

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