Commodity market report

Global steel short-term outlook July 2017

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Report summary

Chinese steel prices have spiked again in July, reaching Rmb3,745/tonne (US$553/tonne) at the end of the month. Demand in construction has done well in the first half of the year. It drew strength from high growth in the Road-and-Belt-initiative provinces and destocking in lower-tier satellites cities. Additional price support came from induction furnace closures. As demand in construction is stronger than expected, we have revised our forecast up. July was not as generous to steelmakers in the US and Europe as it was to Chinese producers. Most prices fell across the board in Europe and the USA, despite higher trade barriers imposed, expected or rumoured in both regions. In the United States, protectionism is proving more difficult to achieve than the initial deadlines. In Europe, We expect steel use to remain higher than last year through H2, though seasonal downturn will soon take hold.

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    Global steel short-term outlook July 2017

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 34 images and tables including:


  • Costs: Image 1
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Key companies: Image 1
  • Global crude steel production
  • Manufacturing PMI
  • Steel apparent demand: emerging economies
  • Steel apparent demand: mature economies
  • Eurozone demand pulled up by construction...
  • …supporting increases in supply levels
  • Market structure: Image 7
  • Stockists do not share in Trump optimism
  • India HRC
  • India market structure
  • Production will continue to decline in Q3
  • Market structure: Image 12
  • Brazil HRC
  • Brazil market structure
  • Crude steel production slumped in June
  • Exports remain high
  • Fixed-asset investment highest in Belt-and-Road regions
  • The government’s discordant policies have polarised destocking
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 3
  • ...contributing to a marked uptrend in overall EU steel consumption. A typically weaker H2 will not be enough to offset this growth.
  • US crude steel production has underperformed, putting H2 forecast at risk.
  • Infrastructure spending decline continues to dampen construction growth.
  • HRC prices in Europe and the USA should have peaked. Despite margins support from protectionism, weak automotive demand should start to undermine prices soon.
  • Rebar price in China remains too high. A readjustment is inevitable. Meantime high prices in China will support global prices.


  • Prices and other key data
  • Costs: Table 1
  • EBITDA margin for selected steel makers (table and chart)
  • Key quarterly data
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Key companies: Table 2

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