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News

EU average carbon steel price forecast for December 2004

MEPS (International) : 11 January, 2005  (New Product)
In the flat products category, EU purchasers are waiting as long as possible before committing themselves to forward orders for delivery in the first quarter. Many companies have high inventories to take them into the New Year.
In the flat products category, EU purchasers are waiting as long as possible before committing themselves to forward orders for delivery in the first quarter. Many companies have high inventories to take them into the New Year.

Despite the slow order patterns, we expect the mills to hold out for price rises of 20/30 per tonne in the strip mill sector. We believe these will be recorded in our January figures at a level marginally below the values shown in the previous forecast. We still expect selling prices to decline steadily from Springtime onwards as import volumes expand due to the attractiveness of the EU market to third country suppliers. The high cost of raw materials in 2005 should underpin current price levels to a degree. Nevertheless a ten percent decrease is anticipated over the year. Plate selling values remain strong and supply remains quite tight. Further significant price hikes are forecast for next month as new orders are placed in the near term for first quarter deliveries. These strong market conditions are likely to extend well into the second quarter of 2005 before slipping as foreign shipments take a greater share of the domestic markets.

In the long products category, oversupply is becoming a feature in the bar and rod categories. Scrap prices have also fallen. These two factors have put negative pressure on selling values as this year draws to a close. Wire rod, rebar and merchant bar prices are forecast to slip further through the Winter months before rising in the Springtime. Values should remain steady for most of the remainder of the year. Transaction prices for structural sections are likely to peak around the turn of the year. Lower scrap costs, weaker demand and the threat from imports are likely to put negative pressure on market prices as the New Year progresses.

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