Commodity Market Report

Global steel short-term outlook May 2018

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31 May 2018

Global steel short-term outlook May 2018

Report summary

The latest round of statistical releases has confirmed the inevitable, and global steel demand growth is now showing signs of slowing. In the US, the erratic government policy has started to smother the domestic market, particularly the automotive sector. The unresolved NAFTA negotiations, CAFE standards, high steel prices and now the 232 investigation into automotive trade have all acted to compound uncertainty and defer investment decisions in the sector. Similarly in Europe, the signs of deceleration are becoming apparent as automotive registrations have been easing through the first quarter. Meanwhile in China, we continue to forecast moderate steel demand growth. However, further restrictions on housing purchases and falling white good exports pose downside risks to our view. 

Why buy this report?

Our detailed report looks at why global steel demand growth is now showing firm signs of slowing. Make strong investment decisions on global opportunities by using this report to:

  • Understand the trends our analysts see for production in 2018 and beyond
  • How the current uncertainty in the market will impact on pricing looking forward to 2022
  • The accompanying spreadsheet will allow you to delve into the detail of our forecasts by country producer

Report snapshot

Report snapshot

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • China
      • Demand
        • Property: stronger market brings back the visible hand
        • Infrastructure: highways steal the thunder
        • Machinery: excavators hit another record high
        • Automotive: commercial vehicle demand remains strong
        • Household appliances: will exports recover?
      • Production
        • Strong demand and low steel inventories prompt blast-furnace restarts
      • Short-term outlook
        • Shandong summit closure poses biggest downside risk for June
        • EU
          • Construction production faltered in March
          • Who will support EU automotive production?
          • EU steel production, too high for its own good?
          • Last but not least a word on Italy
        • US: a month on and still no clarity
          • The importance of the automotive sector cannot be underestimated
          • Steel prices remain high despite weakening market outlook
            • Quarterly prices, tables and charts
    • Iron ore prices inch up in May
    • Coking coal prices remain resilient
    • Turkey's woes undermine scrap prices
    • Global
    • China
    • Europe
    • Japan
    • Brazil
    • Russia

Tables and charts

This report includes 38 images and tables including:

  • Key annual data
  • Key prices
  • Except in Europe, costs have continued to fall faster than steel prices, supporting steelmakers margins.
  • Margins for rebar producers in China have strengthened ahead of expectations.
  • Scrap quarterly and annual prices
  • Costs: Table 2
  • Global crude steel production
  • Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
  • Emerging economies steel consumption
  • Mature economies steel consumption
  • Steel production growth eases
  • Steel stocks fell 20% month-on-month as demand remains strong
  • Construction PMI eases
  • Crude steel production growth strong in April
  • Domestic steelmakers have continued to benefit...
  • Steel stocks have remained broadly unchanged...
  • Steel demand growth is picking up momentum...
  • Domestic steel prices to remain high...
  • Domestic demand has weakened...
  • ... and lower exports have slowed steel production
  • Crude steel production high...
  • Hot-rolled coil prices edge down
  • Automotive growth continues
  • Steel production recovers in April
  • Summary table
  • China's rebar prices softened on construction stoppages in Shandong ...
  • ... however the acute fall in traders' stocks suggests healthy steel demand overall
  • China lowered import tariffs on automotive imports. Good news for EU exporters
  • Domestic demand for vehicles has thinned out. Global growth should favour exports
  • Spot margins remain high in the EU, but they have fallen every month since February
  • Automotive is the second largest steel consuming sector in the US
  • and US steelmakers have a high exposure to it
  • Imports play an important part in the US automotive market
  • High regional price spreads have continued to attract steel imports, despite 232 policies
  • Unresolved initiatives that impact the US steel market
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • China construction strength has supported rebar prices in May.
  • HRC and Rebar prices have faltered in Europe ahead of expectations.

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

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

    XLS 278.00 KB

  • Document

    Global steel short-term outlook May 2018

    PDF 516.11 KB

  • Document

    Global steel short-term outlook May 2018

    ZIP 627.79 KB

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