International steel prices remained under pressure, in December, due to sluggish global demand and high inventories.
In the recent issue of the International Steel Review, MEPS reported that world steel prices slipped further across flat and long product areas.
In North America, flat prices continued to weaken amid lacklustre demand domestically while a strong US dollar hampered exports. Buyers are delaying purchases as they prioritise their year-end stock positions.
Chinese spot prices have reached record lows with local producers selling excess stock at discounted prices. With demand slowing down domestically, China continues to pitch its exports at remarkably low prices. Subsequently, steel mills have cut domestic selling values in Taiwan and South Korea.
However, US flat prices may have bottomed out as many domestic steel mills have announced price increases for the first quarter. At this stage, it is unclear whether the price hikes will be accepted by the market.