Commodity Market Report

Steel short-term outlook February 2023

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Global steel production rose 3.4% sequentially in January but was still 3% lower year-on-year. Chinese demand stayed sluggish amid harsh weather stalling construction activity, labour unavailability and a steep fall in auto sales due to the withdrawal of electric vehicle purchase subsidies. We believe that steel will witness the tale of two halves in 2023. The year’s first half will remain marred by muted construction, feeble consumer spending and investment curbs. Global steel consumption would gradually recover in the second half with support from Chinese construction activity, a revival in private investment, and easing supply chain pressures. The recent capacity restarts in Europe and Asia will aid steel output, signalling green shoots for consumption, inventory levels and prices. Steel prices have risen since November due to surging iron ore and metallurgical coal prices. We believe elevated costs and gradual recovery in Chinese steel demand will push prices up in Q1.

Table of contents

    • Patchy waters ahead for steel
    • Steel prices rise in February; expected to remain elevated in Q1 2023
  • Country snapshot

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    Steel short-term outlook February 2023

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