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News

North American average carbon steel price forecast for November 2004

MEPS (International) : 02 December, 2004  (New Product)
A recent decline in the US dollar value against most major currencies has translated into increased figures in all our Carbon Steel Price Forecasts for November - to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon region. This is expected to also impact on the December values.
In the flat products category, MEPS forecasts further cuts in average prices of strip mill products next month. However, several steelmakers are planning extended seasonal maintenance outages towards the end of the year. This could tighten supply somewhat. Market conditions should improve in the New Year. Our forecast prices for the next twelve months have been slightly uprated from the figures produced in October - mainly as a result of currency exchange rate movements. However, we still predict a price slippage over the next twelve months as availability increases from greater volumes of imports and decreasing orders from an already overstocked service centre segment.

Demand is firm across all consuming industries in the plate segment. There are plans to raise US prices in the near future - reversing the declining trend of the past two months. However, we still envisage a price slippage as Spring 2005 approaches.

In the long product class, the November outturn for average prices of wire rod and structural sections was broadly in line with our previous projections. Negative pressure on selling values is developing and we still believe that the figures will fall over the next six months. This may be negated a little by the recent rise in scrap costs.

Average bar prices went up in November. This was the result of reasonably stable Canadian figures in their national currency. Competition in the market is likely to bring the North American average down in December. Further falls are anticipated up to Spring next year.

Our forecast indices are based on a constant US dollar exchange rate into the future. However, a recent decline in the US dollar value against most major currencies has translated into increased figures in all our Carbon Steel Price Forecasts for November - to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon region. This is expected to also impact on the December values.

Source: MEPS - Steel Prices On-Line (regional steel price tables & forecasts)
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