LONDON (Scrap Monster): The seasonal uptick in demand following the summer holiday period has been disappointing in northern Europe. Underlying consumption remains weak and buyers are reluctant to build inventory or purchase speculatively, said MEPS International in a snippet.
European mills have continued to propose price increases for strip mill products but, in view of the lack of buying activity, many customers have been able to secure reduced selling figures for spot deals. The MEPS Nordic Average Transaction Price for cold rolled coil decreased by 2.0 percent, this month.
Demand in Norway continues to be uniquely strong due to North Sea oil extraction activity. There are some attractively priced offers available from Chinese suppliers but most buyers are deterred by the long delivery lead times.
Transaction values for hot rolled plate, especially in commodity grades, have recently fallen by more than those for strip mill products. Prices throughout Western Europe have been depressed by cheap offers from Italian re-rollers.
Oversupply and destocking have put downward pressure on heavy plate values. Sellers of commodity grades face strong competition from Eastern European producers. The MEPS Nordic Average Transaction Price for hot rolled plate dropped by 4.5 percent, between July and September.
Ex-mill rebar prices across the region increased for September contracts, as a result of the surge in scrap prices in early August. This development is likely to be reversed, at least in part, next month, because raw material costs have subsequently subsided.
Input costs, along with fair construction activity, contribute to small increases in selling figures for medium sections and beams, in most of the countries reviewed. However, manufacturing activity has slowed, resulting in a fall in demand for merchant bar and a consequent cut in prices for that product.
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