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News

MEPS Asian Carbon Steel Price Forecast For January 2005

MEPS (International) : 07 February, 2005  (Company News)
Further price gains were made in January for all flat product categories. The increases for hot rolled coil/plate and the coated strip mill products were in line with our predictions.
The cold rolled figures exceeded our expectations. Chinese flat products continue to show an overall positive trend. The supply/demand balance in Japan is very tight and is expected to remain so throughout the first quarter. The picture in South Korea is quite different. Inventories are high due to the slow economic situation. Demand in Taiwan is fair but we detect small signs of weakness.

All the above factors lead us to the conclusion that flat product average prices will continue to rise up to the Spring period. Our forecasts for the uncoated products have been uprated. A slow but gentle decrease is anticipated during the latter stages of 2005.

In the long products sector, January prices for bar and rod decreased. The reduction was greater than we anticipated due to the collapse of scrap prices in the region. The structural sections market is performing marginally better due to firm consumption in China and Taiwan.

Our price forecasts for mesh grade wire rod and rebar are virtually unchanged. The predictions for medium sections and merchant bars have been uprated a little, with prices holding steady for the next few months before slipping later in the year as over supply develops.
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