There has been some downward pressure detected in the German hot rolled coil steel market, according to MEPS. A number of service centres have financial difficulties as end-users press for reductions. Consequently, they in turn, are calling for discounts from the mills.
MEPS has noted a small downward price correction for commodity plate. However, recent statistics have revealed that stocks at the service centres fell during May by over 5 percent, month-on-month, and that the quantities sold by distributors were up by around 9 percent.
Cold rolled coil demand remains satisfactory but, with the exception of the auto industry, there is no significant improvement. There is plenty of Russian material on offer but domestic suppliers have maintained basis figures at the June level.
Auto production is going well with good local sales and a healthy export market, especially in China and the USA. However, the carmakers are trying to reduce their steel costs wherever possible, so distributors who serve that sector complain of poor margins. Construction related sales of hot dipped galvanised coil are fair. In the general market, basis numbers have weakened slightly, due to oversupply.
Low carbon wire rod producers have held on to selling figures for the fourth consecutive month. There is little activity in the recoil market, where values are unchanged, despite buyers’ calls for discounts.
In the structural sections market, suppliers have been forced to concede a €20 per tonne discount during recent settlements. Sales are subdued and supply is in excess of demand.
Rebar prices are unchanged from a month ago. Sales volumes are running at reasonable levels, with construction output forecast to grow throughout 2014.
The mills have again succumbed to calls for further discounts for merchant bar. Purchasing activity is cautious as buyers are unsure of future price movements. The hope for improvement in business levels has not materialised, so far.