Commodity Market Report

Steel markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

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26 February 2021

Steel markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

Report summary

A bullish start to the Year of the Ox: • Chinese BOF’s didn’t switch off for the New Year holiday – boosting output growth • India recorded its sixth consecutive month of production growth – up 7% year-on-year • In the US and the EU HRC prices have doubled from 2020 lows But will the bulls or the bears end up on top? • The US is on the cusp of a demand bonanza – but could video games de-rail the steel boom? • Chinese infrastructure is growing, cars are selling and manufactures are exporting. But any decline in residential construction will swiftly erase those gains • EU production has had issues and trade is disrupted – boosting prices. But demand is weak, purchases are being delayed and capacity has returned – all bearish for price Read this month’s short-term outlook for an assessment of these risks.

Table of contents

  • A bullish start to the Year of the Ox:
  • Where are steel prices going to go next?
    • A bullish start to year of the Ox
    • Steel output is just unstoppable, even for the holiday and poor profitability
    • Steel demand release will be faster
    • What can go wrong on US’ steel bonanza ?
    • 1) High prices to cause demand destruction
    • 2) Lingering parts chain disruption to hamper auto production
    • 3) last but not least, (still) COVID-19
    • Where will prices head next?
    • The case for the bulls
    • Production
    • Trade
    • The case for the bears
    • Demand
    • Short-term supply/demand balances
    • H1 2021 downside price risk, 2022 upside demand potential
    • Mixed signals on recovery in Q1 2021
    • Steel industry ‘cautious’ on revival
    • Restructuring on agenda
    • Going Green
    • Steel recovery strengthens
    • Scope of improvement for ‘diffident’ domestic consumption
    • Return to ‘2019’ base in sight
    • Strong momentum continues for Indian steel production
    • Government’s impetus on infrastructure, automotive and housing sector
    • Iron ore
    • Coal

Tables and charts

This report includes 37 images and tables including:

  • AFSU (columns left axis) and growth (lines right axis)
  • Key annual data
  • Hot metal cost has reached the highest point in history
  • rebar margin of BOF has entered the negative territory
  • Daily crude steel output of CISA members steelmakers
  • BF utilisation rate remained high during the CNY break
  • Automotive key leading indicators
  • Where will prices head next?
  • EU steel and scrap prices rallied hard in Q4 2020
  • They may hold for H1 but we expect prices to trend downwards this year
  • EU key quarterly forecast
  • Quarterly CS
  • Blast furnace capacity
  • Quarterly CSP forecast
  • Key demand sectors
  • Quarterly and annual steel prices
  • Quarterly and annual metallics prices
  • International HRC prices indexed
  • Chinese HRC
  • EU HRC
  • US HRC
  • Indian HRC
  • Chinese rebar
  • EU rebar
  • US rebar
  • Monthly price history
  • Global crude-steel production
  • Global PMI indicators
  • Emerging markets apparent finished steel use
  • Mature economies steel consumption
  • Indian crude steel production and growth
  • Indian steel exports
  • US crude steel production and capacity utilisation
  • US employment
  • Summary

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Steel markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

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