Commodity market report

Global steel short-term outlook January 2018

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Report summary

In China, rebar traders spent January adjusting to the realisation that the rebar market did not tighten as they had feared between mid-November and late December, when they pushed prices up in a vertical frenzy. As traders took stock of the weakening construction demand, average rebar prices fell US$90/tonne month-on-month. In part, demand weakened because of stricter controls on provincial spending; in part because of the winter slow-down; and in part as a result of the anti-pollution controls which mandated the halt of construction activities. Winter rigours also loosened the resolve of the Chinese regulators. In order to heat the population in the Northern cities, the authorities allowed the restart of blast furnaces, also increasing steel supply and undermining prices. We now expect prices to stabilise in the near term, until Lunar New Year is over, and we expect most of the further downward adjustment to prices to take place in Q2, after production controls are removed.

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

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 38 images and tables including:


  • Supply-demand balances: Image 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 2
  • AD duties against Chinese HDG steels have lowered, but not removed, the volume of imports
  • Passenger vehicle registrations are still growing – but they are slowing…
  • 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
  • Steel stocks to support steel demand
  • 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
  • Steel contribution to GDP and employment is small…
  • …and it has been steadily declining
  • HRC prices are likely to benefit from strong manufacturing in Europe and the USA in H1 2018.
  • Strong construction, high costs and lower imports to support the EU rebar market in the near term.


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

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