Steel prices across the globe continued trending downwards in May. Selling figures declined in twenty four of the twenty eight nations in which MEPS conducts research. In the remaining four countries, transaction values were stable.
Excess steel supply and poor demand are expected to continue to exert negative pressure on prices in the short term. Moreover, input expenditure is likely to remain at a low level in the immediate future.
North American flat product transaction values continue to decline. Overall steel demand has not changed and remains weak. Availability is more than ample and delivery lead times are very short, despite industrial unrest and production outages at a number of sites.
Although local steel producers have made no official reductions, the need to fill their order books has meant they have become more accommodating during price discussions. Both end-users and service centres are keeping inventories low and only buying for orders already on their books. As forecast, steel producers of long products have lost the increase they applied in April due to negative scrap movements and subdued sales activity.