Posted on 03/05/2017 in category Ferrous

BIR World Mirror on Ferrous Metals / Quarterly report - May 2017

by William Schmiedel, Sims Group Global Trade Corporation

Largely more positive outlook for the year

Our industry experienced a remarkable first quarter, with robust demand pushing raw material and steel prices higher in key markets such as China, Europe and the USA. We have reasons to believe the outlook for the global steel market this year will for the most part be positive. Finished steel demand is projected to grow about 1.5% worldwide. China’s steel demand is expected to be flat which would mean the rest of the world’s would increase by about 3%.

Certainly manufacturing in the USA and the EU is stronger and there is no denying that higher oil prices spur steel demand in oil-producing economies. Global steel capacity utilization rates are projected to rise after a four-year contraction and China should continue to lead that with another capacity cut of 50m tonnes in 2017, derived from the shutting-down of “illegal” induction furnaces.

Prices followed upward and in China, for instance, the first quarter of 2017 showed an 18% increase from last year’s fourth quarter for rebar. Similar gains on flat rolled were seen in the USA and EU.
So while Chinese production has held, exports have declined dramatically; these averaged 9.5m tons a month in the first half of 2016 and then 8.6m tons per month in the second half, whereas the average for the first quarter of 2017 was 6.9m tons a month (...)

Read the full world market report in our members' area.