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Brazilian steelmakers remain optimistic over the growth prospects for domestic steel consumption. The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABr) has reported that domestic finished steel sales in January totalled 1.58 million tonnes – down 8.5 percent, compared with last year’s figure.

Russian trading houses have questioned the necessity of the latest round of price hikes. The majority stress that the latest initiative is unsustainable and does not reflect real demand.

The outlook for the Indian market is unchanged. Local service centres plan to keep stocks to a minimum and only procure on a requirement basis..

The business climate in China is unchanged since our January report. Consumption volumes in the pre-Lunar New Year period were weaker than forecast. Inventories throughout the supply chain have expanded as a result.

Buying activity in Ukraine’s key consuming industries of construction and shipbuilding are expected to remain slow in March. Price volatility has hampered trading in Turkey. End-user groups envisage small price reductions next month, citing lower raw material costs.

Business sentiment has deteriorated in the United Arab Emirates. Local traders are extremely reluctant to purchase material in what they deem as precarious trading conditions. Several firms plan to observe the global reaction to the re-opening of the Chinese market. Moreover, Emirati rolling mills have opted to roll over their selling figures.

Source: MEPS - Developing Markets Steel Review - February Edition -