Commodity market report

Global steel short-term outlook November 2017

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Report summary

Developments in Chinese pollution policy have continued to liven up the steel market in China, and propelled rebar prices to new highs. Not only have the 2+26 cities dutifully started to implement production cuts on 15 November, but the policy has proven alluring beyond the 28 cities, with targets for production cuts set by other local authorities. For now at least higher production in the rest of China has been insufficient to offset this latest supply shock caused by the anti-pollution policy. While uncertainty continues to surround near-term steel production, demand has started to fall in line with expectations, with the construction sector either contracting or slowing and automotive growth grinding to a halt.

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Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 37 images and tables including:


  • There is construction growth potential in Eastern Europe, although these markets are relatively small. Spanish construction growth is fuelled by the residential sector. The UK will struggle.
  • Crude steel production in October was (almost) the highest October output for six years.
  • US mills have been able to raise price competitiveness and margins…
  • …though imports have grown by more than double crude steel output nonetheless
  • The huge decline of US regional differential has succeeded where protectionism had failed: H2 production is up in the US and imports started to abate.
  • Additional capacity has kept US prices in check, eating in the US regional differential. Falling Chinese demand should undermine prices in 2018, reopening the regional price gap.
  • Key companies: Image 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 2
  • Costs: Image 1
  • Costs: Image 2
  • Production growth inflated by IF closures
  • Demand indicators point to expansion
  • Apparent demand emerging economies
  • Apparent demand mature economies
  • Production will go down in Q4
  • Exports decline accelerated in Q3
  • PMI indicators mixed
  • Construction growth
  • Declining assemblies lowers supply glut
  • Manufacturing partly offsetting construction
  • India real steel demand indicators
  • India crude steel production and net-exports
  • Orders improve
  • Exports weakness undermines demand
  • Crude steel production growth
  • Domestic demand improves
  • Recovering residential not enough to offset the overall construction sector decline
  • Weak exports will continue to drag down steel production in the short term


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

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