Trading Activity Deteriorates in the Emerging Steel Markets

Trading Activity Deteriorates in the Emerging Steel Markets

South Africa

The South African steel market has entered a period of low seasonal demand. Shipment volumes to downstream industries are forecast to be muted after the country’s four-week Christmas shutdown period. Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce has announced Section 232 exemptions for thirty-six steel products, from South Africa – included are hot and cold rolled sheet.


In Brazil, downstream demand is sluggish as buyers adopt a cautious attitude. The local mills are actively looking for an opportunity to boost finished steel selling values. Imports are becoming more attractive, but few deals are being concluded because delivery would fall in the Christmas season.


Russian stockists are wary of holding too much inventory into the country’s December-January period. Winter trading protocols are being enforced. The downtrend in domestic steel consumption is expected to gather momentum next month. Construction-related steel demand is slowing down.


Buying activity is lacklustre in the Indian steel market. Domestic mills have started to offer discounts and rebates to facilitate sales. Despite this, stockists are hesitant about placing forward orders, highlighting that sales volumes were weaker than projected, in the period following the Diwali festival. Moreover, construction activity is limited. Export quotations have fallen, in the wake of the slump in global steel prices.


Construction activity in Ukraine is expected to slow down next month. Local trading houses plan to persevere with conservative inventory levels. End-users are waiting for selling figures to fall further. Price support from overseas markets is negligible.


The prognosis for the Turkish steel market is unchanged. Steelmakers conceded further discounts, during recent negotiations with customers in the general market. Further erosion cannot be ruled out. Service centres are keen to reduce their stocks, wary that sales activity is dull in the December-January trading period.


Business confidence is deteriorating, in the United Arab Emirates. Stockists and traders are buying only what they need to cover immediate orders, citing the availability of foreign material at the ports and moderate domestic consumption. The construction sector is exhibiting no signs of improvement. Offers from neighbouring GCC countries shadow Asian quotations.


Mexican distributors are delaying purchases, until January. They expect transaction values to soften further. Steelmakers are faced with a dilemma – maintain or downgrade planned production targets. A number of significant public construction projects have been put on hold, this month.

Source: MEPS Developing Markets Steel Review – November Issue