Steel prices across the globe continued trending downwards in May. Selling figures declined in 24 of the 28 nations in which MEPS conducts research.

In the remaining four countries, transaction values were stable. Excess 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 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.

The MEPS EU - Average All Products Composite transaction value decreased by 2.2% in May. Underlying demand for flat products remains subdued in Western Europe, ruling out any chance of price recovery, despite the high costs of production. Moreover, the market is oversupplied due to a number of blast furnace restarts earlier in the year.

MEPS Asia Average steel prices decreased for all product forms in May. As a result of poor conditions at home exporters have, once again, lowered their quotations to foreign customers, in what is an ever increasingly competitive market. In Japan, demand from the civil engineering and building segments is growing. Sales remained lacklustre in South Korea. Cheap Chinese import prices have weighed heavily on the market, causing domestic mills to offer further discounts. Export activity has also contracted, both in terms of price and volume.

Source: MEPS