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News

STEEL PRICE TREND TURNS NEGATIVE IN NORTHERN EUROPE

MEPS (International) : 22 April, 2011  (Company News)
Prices for strip mill products in northern Europe have begun to soften in recent weeks. There had been some speculative buying as selling figures climbed earlier this year but now stock levels are high and customers are more cautious.
Buyers of cold rolled coils deduce that mills in the region are not fully booked. Delivery lead times are short. Small tonnages are available from stockists at similar prices to those offered by the producers. Purchasers have been offered attractive selling figures for Asian material but are reluctant to gamble on prices for July/August deliveries

Hot rolled coil is less plentiful. The supply of pickled and oiled steel remains tight following the outage at Tata's IJmuiden plant. The producer has booked all available toll-pickling capacity in the region. Selling numbers for galvanised sheet have decreased slightly despite decent demand from the German and Swedish automotive sectors.

The market for quarto plate, on the other hand, is still strengthening. Production delays at both SSAB and Rautaruukki are causing shortages of material in the Nordic region, leading to longer delivery lead times and soaring prices.

The trend for long products prices is downward. Selling values for higher specification wire rod are holding up but commodity grades are coming under negative pressure. Demand for sections and rebar is poor, construction activity is slow, inventories are high and the mills have spare capacity. Furthermore, suppliers from Spain are offering low selling figures as they try to replace lost sales to north Africa. However, there are plenty of projects due to start and seasonal factors should start to take effect. There is a perception that lower prices would encourage increased sales volumes.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement - MEPS Nordic Index - MEPS Nordic Price

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