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News

MEPS North American Carbon Steel Price Forecast For January 2005

MEPS (International) : 11 February, 2005  (Company News)
In the flat products category, January hot strip prices fell marginally in line with our expectations. Plate figures, in contrast, drifted downwards despite booming market conditions in the US.
In the flat products category, January hot strip prices fell marginally in line with our expectations. Plate figures, in contrast, drifted downwards despite booming market conditions in the US. Falling scrap surcharges more than offset basis price hikes gained by the local mills. Cold rolled and hot dipped galvanised values fell this month as inventories rose due to a fall in demand from auto producers. Surprisingly, electro-zinc coated sheet figures held up.

Further small decreases are anticipated next month for all products in the strip mill segment. High inventories continue to plague this category. Further modest price reductions are still forecast over the next twelve months. The weak currencies should mitigate against a substantial rise in imports in the short term.

Hot rolled plate values should continue at or near current levels into the Summer months before falling marginally as supply becomes easier.

In the long products segment, prices of wire rod in mesh grades faltered in
January due to an increase in foreign competition. Further slippage is expected over the next few months before turning up marginally in the Summer. The January price decreases for rebar and merchant bars were more substantial than we anticipated. Further small decreases are predicted. Nevertheless, our forecasts for the full year are little changed. This month's sections' price was close to our previous estimate. Our forecast has been uprated in this issue due to probable improvement in demand later in the year.
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