UNITED KINGDOM March 25 2015 10:03 AM
LONDON (Scrap Register): Steel prices have recently held up in the Nordic region according to MEPS International. Hot rolled coil producers are hoping to secure further increases. However, transaction values are being held back by fierce competition between suppliers.
According to MEPS, sales tonnages of commodity plate have been poor since the turn on the year. Lacklustre demand and downward pressure from Russian imports are likely to result in lower selling figures in the second quarter.
The mills have had no success in raising cold rolled coil values as raw material costs have fallen and demand remains subdued. Service centres are offering very competitive selling figures in an effort to increase market share. Sales of coated coil to the automotive sectors are good. The mills are offering low prices to end-users, in an effort to secure more direct business.
Declining scrap costs and lacklustre steel consumption have resulted in wire rod producers failing to secure price rises in March. Export volumes of structural sections and beams have increased due to the shift in exchange rates between the US dollar and European currencies. The lower input costs have had no effect on domestic selling figures for this product.
Despite construction activity being reasonable, rebar selling figures have decreased, affected by the rapid drop in scrap figures. Competition for orders, in the region, remains strong. Manufacturing activity is subdued. As a result, demand for merchant bar is lacklustre. However, sales tonnages remain higher than at the same time last year.