The MEPS North America Average Cold Rolled Coil and Hot Dipped Galvanised prices moved up again in April. This was in line with our expectations. Both Cold Rolled Coil and Hot Dipped Galvanised values are forecast to increase up until the summer period. However, prices are not anticipated to reach the highs recorded during the middle of last year.
US scrap values are declining and predicted to slip in May and June. We envisage further decreases in the months ahead. This would put downward pressure on flat product values. Import volumes into the US are declining and are predicted to stay low for the next few months. The reduced threat from imports should result in a tighter supply situation and create an opposing upward push on transaction figures.
In the longer term, we predict a downturn in flat product transaction figures as import prices become attractive once again. Oversupply in China is expected to grow as the year progresses - resulting in a greater need for foreign sales. This, along with reduced raw material costs in the US, should put negative pressure on transaction values from the end of the summer onwards and into 2008. 01.05.2007