Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Economic actively, or the lack thereof, will make it difficult for the likes of ArcelorMittal to impose their proposed €20 increase (they tried to imposed a €40 increase in November).
Customers and service centres are very sceptical about price increases at a time of very poor demand.
The major European manufacturing countries describe demand as very weak, with little optimism from any areas.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Despite mill efforts to resist, prices are falling around the world according to MEPS.
Falling raw material costs, together with a flood of imports resulting from weak economic conditions in other regions of the world, have created further downward pressure on flat product prices in the US. Overall, the domestic economy is performing satisfactorily but steel demand has declined. Currently, although end-user activity has not changed, service centres are unloading their high priced inventories to make room for lower cost steel in the future. Consequently, resale values are becoming very competitive…….
West European buyers are reluctant to place orders in what they perceive to be a declining market. Although the mills are attempting to hold on to selling values, it is a struggle to do so. They may decide to lower their capacity utilisation rates even further in order to try to balance supply with demand. As the euro loses ground against the US dollar, third country import offers are scarce.
Read the full report here
The mills efforts to resist price fall (i.e. restricted production), are having some affect upon the special steels sector, as high carbon and spring steel shortages are becoming apparent
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal is considering cutting steelmaking capacity in the face of low demand and falling steel prices within Europe.
In an interview with Reuters he said "Demand (in Europe) was 200 million tonnes. Now it's 150 million. Clearly there is a need of some capacity adjustments. ArcelorMittal is looking at it,"
Full story at Reuters
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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MEPS reported further falls in prices:
European buyers of flat products are reluctant to place orders in what they perceive to be a declining market. Although the mills are attempting to hold on to selling values, it is a struggle to do so. They may decide to lower their capacity utilisation rates even further in order to try to balance supply with demand. As the euro loses ground against the US dollar, third country import offers are scarce. Although international raw material prices have come down a little, the weakening currency is eating away at what should be a reduction in production costs.
In Germany, offers from southern European mills are below those from domestic sources at present. There is no threat from third country importers as their quotations are more or less in line with Italian ones and delivery lead times are far more extended. Service centres have started to reduce their stocks to the absolute minimum over the last few weeks because of concern that the euro crisis will hit the German economy.
In France, service centres are fighting for orders, with very low resale values. End-users’ order books are getting shorter, with investments still being postponed, linked to the general economic uncertainty throughout Europe. Producers are trying to resist the downward price movements without success.
The Italian market has weakened even more, with further signs of developing price erosion. Service centres report that business levels have reduced significantly. Consequently, they are afraid to buy more steel. Their current inventories are losing value as ex-mill basis figures trend downwards. As a result, their already poor profit margins are being eaten away.
In the UK, buyers are waiting to see if the mills in mainland Europe will offer further reductions. However, resale values are holding up relatively well, so far. Distributors’ stocks are in line with current demand and some service centres report good levels of business with fair order books to the end of the year.
The Spanish market is quieter than it was in May. Demand is very low with few enquiries either on the mills or the distributors. A number of small stockists, who have been struggling to survive in the economic gloom, have found they can hang on no longer. Finance is a major factor in the grim state of the market.
A general lack of confidence in Europe and fears over the economic situation, particularly in Southern Europe is impacting on manufacturing and putting a brake on activity. A combination of the crisis in the Eurozone and weak domestic demand is putting the skids under the UK's manufacturing sector once again, which has failed to grow in line with earlier optimism.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Steelmakers anxious that PM's defence of the City of London will lose UK manufacturers their competitive edge and key markets
Steelworks in Port Talbot, Wales, owned by the Tata Group, one of the foreign firms 'investing in the UK as a key player in Europe'. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
Britain's hard-pressed manufacturers have expressed growing unease that the financial sector was defended in Europe by David Cameron at the expense of Britain's industrial interests.
Steelmakers fear the UK could lose its "leadership" position on issues such as deregulation and competitiveness, while other manufacturers fear a growing isolation from a key market.
"In the short term it should make no difference as all the EU structures are in place, but across the longer term … we are going to become less relevant in political decision-making," said Ian Rodgers, director of the trade body UK Steel.
Read the full story by Terry Macallister at the Guardian
Whilst David Cameron and the Government have made a lot of noise recently about taking measures to help Industry and manufacturing their actions show that their traditional loyalty to the city is far stronger. Our largest export market is Europe and any step that weakens our influence within that market is a betrayal of the manufacturing sector.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
More than 150 workers at a North Lincolnshire steel firm are taking an extended Christmas break to help their employer stay in business.
Staff at Caparo Merchant Bar (CMB) in Scunthorpe have agreed to take a longer, partly-unpaid, holiday over the Christmas and new year period.
Workers are being supported by the Community Trade Union in an effort to help the company.
The move aims to ease the company's wage bill in the process.
Full story at BBC News
Warsaw Business Journal reported that steel giant ArcelorMittal, which controls 70% of the Polish steel production market, wants to reduce the number of its employees in the Czech Republic by around 10%.
The company plans to launch a voluntary redundancy scheme there in the near future.
Due to a decline in demand for steel, ArcelorMittal has already announced that it will soon idle one of its three blast furnaces in Poland. This will reportedly result in significant job losses. It is even rumored that up to 3,000 employees who work at the Polish steel furnace may be laid off soon.
Trade unions at ArcelorMittal Poland fear that in the face of the crisis the steel maker may soon decide to cut more jobs in Poland.
Nonetheless, Ms Sylwia Winiarek, a spokesperson for ArcelorMittal Poland, said that "No employment reduction decisions have been made at the company."