Positive Preisentwicklung im deutschen Flachstahlmarkt
More positive steel price movement recorded for german flat products.
German flat product prices increased further in March, as forecast by MEPS (International) Ltd. Negotiated basis figures for hot rolled coil have climbed approximately 4 percent, month-on-month. Pipemakers and auto manufacturers are quite busy but demand from yellow goods, domestic appliances and construction is not at a high level. There is less material available now due to reduced domestic capacity and a lack of imports. Consequently, second quarter negotiations that have been settled are at a premium of €20 per tonne to the figures reported four weeks ago.
The plate market in Germany is developing in a positive fashion. Demand is good from end-users and the profilers, who have firm order books from the yellow goods and heavy engineering sectors, are purchasing regularly from the mills. Inventories are not high.
Cold rolled coil prices continued their positive trend. Recent negotiations for second quarter contracts have resulted in small increases. However, speculation that material will become cheaper later in the year is causing both end-users and distributors to order cautiously.
German coated coil basis prices have gained €20 per tonne for second trimester production, although the mills are pushing for more. The majority of the car makers are still performing well. Nevertheless, they are keeping close control over the quantities of steel that they book.
Steelmakers may attempt to secure further price increases in the coming months on the back of rising iron ore costs. The traditional pick-up in end user demand in the spring should help mills to implement price advances. However, the potential for a growing threat from imports, coupled with weak economic conditions is expected to limit the size of the gains.