30-03-2017

Developing markets steel market roundup from MEPS

MEPS

The business environment remains challenging in the Russian Federation, according to MEPS. Downstream steel buyers are reluctant to make deals as they would like to get a clearer market picture. The flat product purchasers reiterate that the latest price initiative is unwarranted and does not reflect real demand.

Indian stockists queried whether the latest domestic long product offers are supported by market and economic fundamentals. MEPS detects a reluctance on the part of end-users to commit to forward orders.

The outlook for the Ukrainian market is unchanged. Domestic steelmakers are forecasting that the second quarter will be a difficult trading period. MEPS notes little appetite for purchasing amongst construction firms, at present.

Buying sentiment in Turkey remained unsettled, in March. Local service centres plan to persevere with conservative inventory levels in the interim period, citing that the uncertainty surrounding the April constitutional reform, had depressed activity in the construction and industrial sectors. Exporters are focusing on the Asian market, owing to increased competition, from Russian and Indian suppliers, in the Middle East and North African regions.

Demand for construction steel in the United Arab Emirates remains muted. The distribution network is in a ‘wait and see’ mode as a result. Importers are hesitant about booking forward orders, with the month of Ramadan (commencing May 26) and summer season looming. Business traditionally slackens in the finished steel segment, during this period.

South African stockists expect sales volumes to stay muted in the second quarter, citing weak economic fundamentals and the government’s failure to promote a well-defined industrial policy. End-user groups are purchasing material only for immediate needs.

Mexican distributors are wary of carrying too much inventory over the next two months, fearing a price correction. Developments across the border in the United States continue to be watched carefully.

Source: MEPS

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