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.
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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