Commodity Market Report

Global steel short-term outlook February 2018

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28 February 2018

Global steel short-term outlook February 2018

Report summary

As market participants in China took a break for the Chinese New Year holidays, the US became the focal point for global steel markets. The scale and breadth of Section 232 proposed recommendations, made public this month, are far more drastic than anticipated. The US had a steel trade deficit of US$17.6 billion last year – prompting 232. But we do not think the suggested measures would be beneficial for the US steel industry. Our view is widely shared. The American Institute for International Steel issued a statement saying they think the proposed measures will have a negative impact and the International Rebar Exporters and Producers Association believes they would "devastate" end-users in the US.

Table of contents

    • Section 232 fallout – how has the rest of the world responded?
    • China: the calm before the storm
      • Demand: construction will continue to slow down
        • Infrastructure budget growth halved
        • Property: rise of lower-tier cities cushions drop in residential construction
        • Machinery: excavator sales up on infrastructure construction growth
      • January exports marked the low point
      • Short-term supply tightness to last into March
    • EU
      • EU production could contract this year if 232 stops trade
    • In the US, all eyes are on Section 232 and soaring steel prices
      • Section 232 is an ill-conceived plan in the long term
      • The prospect of protectionism is buoying the domestic steel industry, at least for now
      • Prices
  • Costs

Tables and charts

This report includes 20 images and tables including:

  • Costs at competitive EU BOF
  • Costs at competitive EU EAF
  • EBITDA margin for selected steel makers
  • Executive summary: Image 1
  • Executive summary: Image 2
  • Prices
  • Key annual data
  • The largest EU automotive markets look close to saturation – but automotive growth continues
  • Steel production and shipments for selected steel makers
  • Key companies: Table 3
  • Average CISA members daily production up despite winter closures
  • Rebar price boon continues
  • Who stands to lose from 232? Germany sends the most steel to the US, but the Netherlands and Luxembourg send a bigger proportion of their production
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 5
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 6
  • Quarterly prices,tables and charts
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Strong economic growth, further decline of exports from China and protectionism pose a substantial upside risk to our H1 2018 price forecast for HRC, particularly in Europe and the US
  • With China on holiday, rebar prices have been less dynamic in February. The direction for Q2 2018 prices remains downwards
  • Summary table

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Global steel markets short-term outlook data February 2018.xls

    XLS 318.00 KB

  • Document

    Global steel short-term outlook February 2018

    PDF 572.80 KB

  • Document

    Global steel short-term outlook February 2018

    ZIP 693.73 KB