Steel prices continue to be relatively stable in the Nordic region, according to MEPS. Competition between hot rolled coil suppliers is fierce. The traditional spring upturn in activity has failed to materialise. Material can be sourced more cheaply from Russia but delivery lead times are extended.
Export opportunities of commodity plate have been boosted by exchange rate movements. The mild winter has supported steady demand from the construction sector. Restarting Russian and Ukrainian mills have added to supply competition.
Demand for cold rolled coil is steady. Transaction values are stable. The reported pickup in northern European economic activity has not been reflected, as yet, in sales volumes. Producers would like higher selling figures but they are reluctant to start new contract negotiations with buyers for fear of conceding discounts.
Sales of coated coil to the automotive sector are steady. Steel prices are stable. The producers want increases but consumption levels do not support such a move.
Demand for rebar is fair. Producers from the Nordic region have had to be more aggressive to retain their market share, in the face of competition from Germany and Poland. The situation for seller in Norway has improved, in terms of both consumption and prices. There is strong demand from civil engineering and infrastructure projects. This is expected to continue in the medium term.
Producers’ proposed price increases, for merchant bar, have largely been rejected. Although there has been some variation in agreements, overall price levels are unchanged. Demand is reasonable.