UNITED KINGDOM May 25 2015 9:45 AM
LONDON (Scrap Register): Market demand for hot rolled is currently fair in the Nordic region, according to MEPS International. However, a substantial pickup in consumption is not envisaged in the short term. There is plenty of material available.
Healthy macroeconomic figures are not reflected by demand for commodity plate. Order volumes are subdued and there is a limited number of projects underway. There is downward pressure on transaction values. Inventory levels at service centres have increased, in Finland, because sales tonnages have been below expectations. In Norway, demand from offshore projects has been reduced, albeit not dramatically.
Attempts to lift cold rolled coil selling values have been undermined by low costs for raw materials, consumables and energy. Demand remains flat. Market participants foresee no significant improvement in purchasing activity in the near term.
Competition between coated coil suppliers is intense. Demand from the automotive sector remains quite strong while activity in many other industries is subdued. Prices may come under negative pressure around the summer break.
The market for drawing quality wire rod is quite stable, in the Nordic countries. The level of demand is described as satisfactory, if a little subdued. Little change is predicted in the near term.
A reported shortage of scrap has not resulted in restricted production of structural sections and beams. A seasonal upturn in consumption has been detected. Producers attempted to raise prices on the back of higher scrap costs. However, they have had limited success, so far.
Rebar consumption has increased with numerous building projects going ahead. Suppliers predict a seasonal pickup in demand during May and June. Producers’ efforts to lift prices, in Norway, have been complicated by fluctuations in the krone to euro exchange rate.
Demand for merchant bar is not strong enough to support the mills’ proposed price advances. Sales to the automotive sector are robust. Activity in other industries is less buoyant. In Finland, the usual, seasonal upturn in sales tonnages during the second quarter has, so far, failed to materialise. Demand is subdued, in Norway. This is likely to persist until there is some recovery in the offshore oil and gas industry.