Covid-19 pandemic stops steel trade in several emerging markets

Steel trade is temporarily suspended in India and South Africa due to government measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Business confidence in India is deteriorating as a result of tough Covid-19 measures. All steel trading activities have been suspended. Service centers expect end-user demand to remain subdued in the coming months. Exporters are focused on developing new business opportunities in the Middle East and Asia.

Steel trade has been suspended in South Africa. Traders and service centers are questioning the robustness of current transaction values ​​for flat products, indicating that price support is limited. Offers from third countries are becoming more and more competitive.

Economic fundamentals in Latin America are deteriorating
… The trading climate in Brazil is fragile. Business sentiment is mild. The economic foundations are deteriorating. Domestic producers began to restrain their pricing ambitions for the April business. Baseline consumption is not in line with industry forecasts.

Mexican steel companies are wary of shipping orders due to the unpredictable trading climate. Bidding prices are much lower than the official offers in April. MEPS research shows that fears of a recession are on the rise among downline users. Meanwhile, the National Chamber of Ferrous Metallurgy (CANACERO) is lobbying the government for additional measures to protect domestic production and metallurgy from foreign competition.

Distributors from the CIS countries are preparing to weaken the activity of end users. IN
In the Russian Federation, procurement sentiment has become weaker. In April, domestic steelmakers adopted a more conciliatory pricing strategy. A concerted effort to bring domestic prices closer to export parity ended in mid-month. Russian stockists expect the government’s stringent Covid-19 measures to be introduced in other federal districts of the country. Construction activity in Moscow and adjacent municipalities has been suspended. Steel demand in other countries is sporadic due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The outlook for the Ukrainian steel sector is bleak. The distribution network predicts a worsening business climate in May. Many of these firms are preparing for a significant downturn in end-user consumption.

With the onset of Ramadan, further slowdown is expected. The trading environment in Turkey is challenging. Local stockists purchase material only on demand, pending further price concessions from local suppliers. Several manufacturers operating electric arc furnaces have halted production, citing low consumption of finished steel and volatile scrap costs. Mill’s sales prices are revised daily to compensate for the weakness of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.

Metallurgists in the UAE are concerned that they will have too much inventory over the next two months. Construction activity has been suspended. The situation is compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic and the holiday month of Ramadan, which began on 23 April. Export opportunities outside the region are limited.

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