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News

EU average carbon steel price forecast for October 2004

MEPS (International) : 04 November, 2004  (New Product)
Flat products steel prices increased in most countries in October. The outturn was generally, above our predictions prepared in September. The mills were able to extract higher prices from customers who came to the bargaining table late for fourth quarter deliveries.
Flat products steel prices increased in most countries in October. The outturn was generally, above our predictions prepared in September. The mills were able to extract higher prices from customers who came to the bargaining table late for fourth quarter deliveries.

We expect agreements in December for first quarter supplies. These will be higher than the figures in the previous trimester. Mill order books continue to be quite solid for both strip and plate products. It is our assessment that the next price rises could be the last in this cycle for the strip mill products. Small price reductions are anticipated when agreements are made for the second quarter.

For plate products the market may stay stronger for longer. We do not expect any decreases to be negotiated in this category for, at least, another six months. The key market segments of shipbuilding and linepipe for the oil and gas industries should remain firm. The construction segment is more unsettled.

The pricing scene is patchy for long products across the EU member states. Sales to the German construction industry are sluggish and are unlikely to pick up in the near term. The situation in other countries in Northern Europe is similar (excluding the UK). Southern European demand seems to be somewhat better.

The products which have associations with the integrated mills (i.e. wire rod and structural sections) indicate reasonably firm pricing tendencies in the short term. In contrast, those served mainly by the electric melting units suffer more from the vagaries of the scrap market and are currently more prone to price deterioration. As a consequence, we forecast prices of reinforcing bars and merchant bars declining steadily through the Winter, before picking up slightly as the construction season improves.

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