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Scandinavia

While the Nordic Countries are in high summer right now, the spring months from March to June are usually high season for collections. When the sun returns and the weather becomes more stable, it is time for cleaning up - both in private households and within industry.

Inflation and interest rates have a major impact on economic activity, and thus on recycled steel generation in the Nordic Countries. In Denmark, inflation peaked in September last year at approximately 10% but is now around 2.5%, with June being the eighth consecutive month in which the rate fell. Hopefully, falling inflation will also mean interest rate cuts in the coming months.

Since April, Turkish steel prices have shown a downward trend. The average price (TSI) was US$ 424.29 per tonne in April and US$ 379.38 in May, followed by a slight increase in June to US$ 384.18. At the time of writing, buying interest from the Turkish market seems limited owing to a lack of finished product sales at price levels that support current recycled steel prices. A fundamental change is needed in the demand situation for finished steel in order to bring a return to rising prices and higher activity levels in this important market.

The Indian market for shredded material has been strong in recent months and has been a good sales alternative for Northern Europe’s dealers. Owing to the credit situation, it is currently possible to make only a very limited number of contracts with buyers in Pakistan.

Demand in Europe is also limited and many steel mills are expected to be out of the market until late August or early September. As with Turkey, sales of finished product are also difficult for Europe’s steel mills.

Freight rates for containers to India and Pakistan are still following a downward trend. As shipping companies’ capacities are set to increase sharply in the coming years, this will probably be the same picture going forward. Freight rates for bulk shipments between Northern Europe and Turkey are relatively stable at a low level and this is expected to remain the case in the coming months.