Good overall demand helped mills in all regions to implement price hikes in February as they attempted to recover their escalating input costs. Weakening of the US dollar against many Asian and EU currencies added to the upward trend in the calculated MEPS average transaction values.
Sales volumes improved due to growing end-user demand and re-stocking by many distributors. Availability remains tight due to restricted production volumes and low inventories in the market.
Recent gains in spot market prices for raw materials will, almost certainly, result in significant advances for second quarter contract prices for iron ore and coking coal. Scrap costs are also likely to move higher in the short term due to increased buying activity in Asia. Consequently, steel transaction values are forecast to climb further over the next few months.