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GERMAN STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
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GERMAN STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

According to the latest report by MEPS, there has been no movement in German hot rolled coil basis prices. In general, steelmakers still have capacity available for the fourth quarter. Pipemakers report that their business is not improving. Order quantities are reasonable but profit margins are lacking due to world-wide competition. Distributors are trying to reduce hot rolled coil stocks for the year-end. We hear that some service centres have already finalised their January business at a rollover price from the fourth quarter.

Recent statistics show that inventories of hot rolled plate at stockists are growing and sales volumes have fallen. The general economic outlook is less optimistic than of late, partly due to the Ukrainian problem, causing investors to hold back. Commodity plate values are unchanged from those reported in October.

Cold rolled coil domestic suppliers have cut their final quarter offers. There has been no revival in demand since the summer vacation and mill order books are lean. Local auto manufacturers have experienced a sharp drop in sales to Russia but premium car exports to other countries are holding up. Construction-related sales of hot dipped galvanised coil are static. Basis numbers in the general market have not recovered due to oversupply.

Domestic mills have maintained low carbon wire rod prices this month, after conceding a small discount in October. There is little activity in the recoil market, where values are, again, unchanged, despite negative pressure from declining scrap costs.

Sales volumes of structural sections are poor, where there is strong competition for the little business that is available. Nevertheless, suppliers have held on to prices during recent negotiations, after trimming them last month.

Rebar buyers have successfully pushed for lower prices as scrap costs drop further. The market is subdued. Merchant bar steelmakers have failed to resist customers’ calls for basis price cuts, for the second consecutive month. Purchasing activity remains cautious as buyers fear further downward developments. There has been no recovery in business levels.

Source:  MEPS - European Steel Review - November Issue - http://www.meps.co.uk/GermanKeynote11-14.htm