Commodity Market Report

Steel markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

Get this report


You can pay by card or invoice

Contact us

Submit your details to receive further information about this report.

For details on how your data is used and stored, see our Privacy Notice.

- FAQs about online orders
- Find out more about subscriptions

30 October 2020

Steel markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

Report summary

ArcelorMittal announces "green steel" sales will start in the EU this year. But what is the emissions intensity of its low-carbon product? There is still no industry definition or standard for green steel. Chinese annualised steel output is running at 1047 Mt year-to-September – huge! But construction demand growth is far more modest and manufacturing demand remains down. Chinese steel inventory – up by a third year-on-year – is playing a major role. The outlook is ominous for prices. How has Indian production – which had the deepest covid-contraction of the major producers – recovered to pre-pandemic volumes whilst others are yet to turn the corner? How will the result of the US election shape steel demand?

Table of contents

  • Chinese stock build boosts apparent demand
  • Indian production recovers
  • EU prices soar despite continued muted demand
  • The US election will barely shift the course of steel demand
  • How do countries steel production recoveries compare?
    • Steel output is soaring...
    • ...but is it time to be cautious?
    • How about winter curtailment?
  • South Korea
  • Japan
    • Indian steel mills make strong comeback
    • Firm domestic demand leads to decline in export volumes
    • Signs of potential M&A activity in the EU
    • and prices are rising – despite demand yet to recover
    • Despite the winner, US election to barely shift the course of steel demand
    • Imports: reaching new-lows but that has little to do with Mr. Trump’s policies
    • Construction: better prospects for residential to marginally impact the sector
    • Pre-coronavirus levels are back in automotive! Still, 2020 is a year to be forgotten
    • Raw material prices
    • Coking Coal– Chinese domestic prices up, seaborne prices down
    • Iron Oreprice starting to come under pressure but unlikely to drop below $100/t this year
    • Steel prices
    • Europe
    • China
    • United States
    • Green steel
    • ArcelorMittal announces low-carbon steel sales will start this year
    • What will the emissions intensity will be for the 30kt of green steel in 2020?
    • What is green steel?
    • Why are low-carbon products being marketed if there is no standard and they cannot be externally certified?
    • Industry development

Tables and charts

This report includes 40 images and tables including:

  • AFSU (columns left axis) and growth (lines right axis)
  • Key annual data
  • China
  • India
  • USA
  • EU and UK
  • Japan
  • Turkey
  • Russian Federation
  • Brazil
  • BF utilisation rate: 2019 versus 2020
  • Steel inventory: 2019 versus 2020
  • Net steel exports started declining in Q3; it will return to normal levels in Q4 due to stable domestic demand
  • Apparent demand has partially recovered but the six-month moving average of imports continues to shift down. The EU was a net-exporter of steel in May and June.
  • Eurozone PMIs suggest that manufacturing (a flat steel consumer) has suffered less and recovered more than construction and services
  • Monitoring EU demand via bottom-up analysis vs top-down shows that both methods yield similar results June through to September. This implies that stock build seen in March to May has stopped but that minimal stock draw down is occurring.
  • US’ net imports reached an 11-year low in August. We expect the trend to reverse as the year ends and higher domestic HRC prices will trigger end users to once more turn to imports
  • US residential spending, new house starts and new house permits
  • Manufacturing key leading indicators and US-China HRC price premia
  • Quarterly and annual steel prices
  • Quarterly and annual metallics prices
  • Monthly price history
  • Europe HRC
  • Europe Rebar
  • China HRC
  • China Rebar
  • US HRC
  • 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
  • EU demand and production
  • Eurozone construction PMIs
  • US crude steel production and capacity utilisation
  • US employment
  • Summary

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Steel markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

    PDF 2.52 MB