Commodity market report

Global steel short-term outlook August 2017

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Report summary

Global steel prices rallied this month. China saw both HR coil and rebar prices expand by 10% month-on-month. The rise means that Chinese HR coil is now more expensive than European HR coil. The last time we saw this was in April 2016 – a month when Chinese steel prices shot up over 20% only to quickly drop back in subsequent months. We expect history to repeat itself and the negative Europe – China spread will not be maintained. In the US, EU and China, the market is frothy – bolstered by sentiment. With prices elevated, global steelmakers are enjoying exceptional margins. They will still be enjoying large margins despite our forecast hefty price falls which we believe are due imminently.

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 32 images and tables including:


  • Costs: Image 1
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Key companies: Image 1
  • Production growth inflated by IF closures
  • Mixed demand indicators
  • Apparent demand emerging economies
  • Apparent demand mature economies
  • European imports rise despite trade action on China
  • Auto industry continues to grow
  • Market structure: Image 7
  • Section 232 threat leaves import volumes unperturbed
  • India real steel demand indicators
  • India crude steel production
  • Production set to decline further in H2
  • Market structure: Image 12
  • Crude steel production growth slows
  • Domestic prices rise
  • Russia crude steel production
  • Russia steel exports
  • Demand in the construction sector will continue to weaken in H2
  • Tightening environmental regulation will give pressure to production in Q4, however, we still forecast it will be higher than last year
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 3
  • Motor vehicle registrations are still in growth but the momentum is receding
  • Chinese HR coil prices are currently higher than EU HR coil prices. We do not expect this to endure.
  • Chinese rebar prices remain elevated despite cooling house completions. A price correction is imminent.


  • Costs: Table 1
  • EBITDA margin for selected steel makers (table and chart)
  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 3
  • Key companies: Table 2

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