Thursday, March 21, 2013

EU Steel Demand flat

Conditions in the European flat products market are exceptionally quiet at present, leading to renewed downward pressure on basis values. As consumption has not improved, both end-users and distributors are reluctant to place forward orders of any significant volume. The mills are so short of business that their determination to lift prices appears to be crumbling. However third country offers are no longer attractive since the euro has started to weaken.
The German mills still have free capacity for the second quarter as order intake is slow. Buyers, who are currently in negotiations for that period, expect to pay less, once deals are concluded. Service centres are trying to keep inventories as low as possible because they have little confidence in the performance of the market, either in terms of price or consumption.
End-user activity remains subdued in France, with very short order books and completion times. As a result, steel demand from distributors is weak. Consumption by the auto sector is down, while activity in the remainder of industry is stable at a modest level.
The Italian economy is very depressed. The results of the recent election have produced an uncertain political scenario. Steel market conditions are described as “tough”, with few buyers. Final demand is weak and, consequently, distributors are sourcing only limited quantities as they try to cope not only with a lack of sales opportunities but also payment issues with their customers.
There is little, or no, import threat in the UK at present because the exchange rate is favourable for the domestic producers. Certainly, some, if not all, of the proposed £30 per tonne rise, announced in early February, has been secured. However, service centres are keeping inventories at a low level as resale values are not moving up as quickly as mill figures.
There has been no improvement in Spanish demand. Service centres are struggling as a result of minimal profit margins. They are fighting over every available order. End-users say they can virtually put their business out to tender if they have any to place.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Steel Strip, demand and pricing at the start of 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

Steel Prices falling around the world

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


Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Arcelor Mittal considering cutting more capacity

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

CS100 Spring Steel Strip

Used for springs, saws, clutch plates and valves etc. CS100 can be cut by laser, waterjet etc. It is generally used where higher hardness's and wear resistance is required  or where a higher strength is required in lower thickness material. Common equivalents are CS95, 1095, C100S, XC90

CS100 is normally supplied in the hardened and tempered condition.

At BSS we have stock in sheets of 300mm x 1000mm in thicknesses of 0.10mm, 0.20mm, 0.25mm, 0.50mm and 1.00mm available for next day delivery. Other sizes are available for delivery within a few days.

Carbon Silicon Manganese Sulphur Phosphorus
0.95/1.05% 0.05/0.35% 0.30/0.60% 0.025% max 0.025% max


Contact BSS on 01709 530591 email

EU Steel prices continue to fall

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.

Technorati Tags: ,


Monday, December 12, 2011

UK industry fears isolation amid EU treaty fallout


Steelmakers anxious that PM's defence of the City of London will lose UK manufacturers their competitive edge and key markets

Tata steelworks, Port Talbot, south Wales

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

Caparo Merchant Bar steel workers to take longer break

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

Technorati Tags: ,,,

ArcelorMittal reducing steel capacity in Poland

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."


Technorati Tags: