Commodity market report
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20 Pages

Global steel short-term outlook December 2015

Global steel short-term outlook December 2015

Report summary

In the world of steel good news is hard to come by and there is little scope for improvement next year. Chinese steel demand – both apparent and real – remains weak and the only support is to come from the automotive sector in 2016. In response to weak market conditions steel prices have continued to fall thus forcing ever more steelmakers into lossmaking territory. Come next year this will result in further capacity closures, particularly across the smaller and less efficient assets. For China, exports will remain important, but finding destination markets will be increasingly difficult due to weak global demand and mounting trade restrictions...

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Global steel short-term outlook December 2015 PDF - 499.98 KB 20 Pages, 7 Tables, 27 Figures
  • SMS 2015 12 DataFile(V1.1).xls XLS - 539.50 KB


As global demand weakens and commodity prices fall, we're seeing a challenging environment in the metals and mining industry. Mining companies are increasingly coming under pressure to reduce operating costs, causing many to shift their strategic planning, delay new investments and look to long-term future growth.

This Steel Short Term Outlook report provides a detailed breakdown of global supply and demand balances in this market, as well as price forecasts.

Mining companies, investment banks and investors can use this report to understand the future direction of the ferrous and base metals market. It will also help you assess the impact of key industry issues and events on market balances and pricing.

From acquisitions to investments, Wood Mackenzie helps you plan, forecast and benchmark in the metals markets. Our proprietary database and analyst expertise combines robust production, consumption and pricing data with detailed analysis to identify market opportunities.

We give you a holistic view of the ferrous and base metals markets so you have the confidence to make strategic decisions.

  • Executive summary
  • Supply-demand balances
    • China: time for change
      • China prepares for a bitter period
      • Steel producers polarised
      • Destocking and lower iron ore prices don't help!
      • China supports for midstream products export
      • Auto demand remains the saviour
      • The import saga rumbles on
    • USA – what a difference a year makes
      • Destocking…
      • …and imports have remained a challenge
      • Imports are here to stay
      • Prices to remain under pressure
        • Steel and scrap prices (tables and charts)
  • Costs
    • Iron ore market weakness triggered a downgrade to our outlook
    • The price outlook for coking coal remains sombre
    • Scrap prices will continue to fall
  • Key companies
    • Industry developments
  • Market structure
    • Global
    • China
    • Europe
    • USA
    • India
    • Japan
    • Russia

In this report there are 34 tables or charts, including:

  • Executive summary
    • Price and other key data
  • Supply-demand balances
    • Stocks have continued to fall
    • Apparent demand growth to turn positive in H2 2016
    • Automotive production has remained strong but steelmakers have been unable to convert this to stronger price levels
    • Europe's automotive success this year has been very much a 'home grown' story as exports have remained weak
    • The share of domestic shipments is rising in a falling market
    • The latest capacity closures should help to support steel prices in Q1 2016
    • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
    • HR coil prices in key markets appear to be gaining some stability and some mills are pushing for new year price rises.
    • We expect that Q1 2016 may see the bottom for prices for the time being as production cuts take effect and the destocking cycles end.
    • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Costs
    • China's annual production surplus has overwhelmed steelmakers in the rest of the world
    • Metallics demand in the world ex-China: scrap usage has taken the brunt of the contraction in crude steel production
    • Costs: Table 1
  • Key companies
    • EBITDA margin for selected steel makers (table and chart)
    • Key companies: Image 1
    • Operating results
  • Market structure
    • Global crude steel production continues to fall…
    • Manufacturing growth is slowing across the world
    • Demand outlook weak in emerging markets...
    • 2016 will be better for mature markets
    • Exports increase once more
    • Production continues to decline
    • EU steel production expected to stagnate in 2016
    • Market structure: Image 8
    • End-use sectors have continued to expand…
    • …but destocking continues to drag on growth
    • Steel demand continues to improve…
    • Steel production under pressure from imports
    • Steel production has continued to fall…
    • Steel prices could fall further
    • Market structure: Image 15
    • Exports not sufficient to support steel production
    • Key quarterly data
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