Commodity market report

Global steel short-term outlook December 2017

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Report summary

December gave us a first glimpse at the implications of policy implementation in China. We learned that the policy may not be what it seems. From afar, it looked like the zeal of enforcing local authority may curb production beyond expectations. But in a recent visit to Tangshan, we found nuances. Winter heating in northeastern China cities may be important to social peace and mills who provide it get a discount from capacity cuts. Large mills, efficient and compliant with regulation also get a discount on production cuts. In other words, there will be more steel and hot metal production in winter that we originally anticipated. And we are yet to get the first glimpse at the impact the environmental policies will have on economic performance. An abrupt slowdown may persuade authorities to reconsider the diligence with which they enforce the targets even further. The population will be grateful to the government for cleaner air. Much less grateful if cold and unemployed.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Global steel markets short-term outlook data December 2017.xls

    XLS 314.50 KB

  • Document

    Global steel short-term outlook December 2017

    PDF 751.64 KB

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    Global steel short-term outlook December 2017

    ZIP 870.18 KB

Table of contents

    • Kery annual data
    • China: production controls split China into two markets
    • Construction demand eases in northern China causing regional prices to diverge
    • Tangshan production cuts are more modest than government policy suggested
    • Scrap is in demand, to compensate hot-metal production loss
    • Cross-sectoral growth will continue in the near term
    • Supply growth modest as imports surge
    • United States
    • Automotive finance: a ticking time bomb?
    • Protectionism: Winning battles but losing the war
    • Iron ore and coking coal on the rise again
    • Scrap and metallics
    • Industry developments
    • Global
    • China
    • Europe
    • USA
    • India
    • Japan
    • Brazil
    • Russia

Tables and charts

This report includes 38 images and tables including:


  • Key companies: Image 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 2
  • All steel intensive sectors are growing
  • Higher margins are tracking the demand recovery
  • Car loan defaults undermine efforts to reduce vehicle glut
  • Alternative suppliers always become available
  • Demand from automotive is slowing in China and Europe, but not fast enough to steady a tight market.
  • Despite slowing construction in the North, December rebar prices soared in the tightening southern market.
  • Costs: Image 1
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Market structure: Image 1
  • Demand indicators point to expansion
  • Apparent demand emerging economies
  • Apparent demand mature economies
  • Market structure: Image 5
  • Market structure: Image 6
  • Market structure: Image 7
  • Market structure: Image 8
  • Market structure: Image 9
  • Manufacturing partly offsetting construction
  • Market structure: Image 11
  • Market structure: Image 12
  • Market structure: Image 13
  • Market structure: Image 14
  • Market structure: Image 15
  • Market structure: Image 16
  • Market structure: Image 17
  • Market structure: Image 18


  • Prices
  • EBITDA margin for selected steel makers
  • Steel production and shipments for selected steel makers
  • Key companies: Table 3
  • Executive summary: Table 2
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Costs: Table 1
  • Summary Table

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