LONDON Global demand for
long steel products has not reached the levels anticipated by
the International Rebar Exporters and Producers Association
Demand for long products has
been particularly poor in Northern Europe as a result of very
cold weather conditions, as well as ongoing uncertainty in the
market, Irepas said Feb. 8.
However, demand in Asia, the
Middle East/North Africa region, and Central and South America
"seems to be maintaining its levels," Irepas said.
Demand for ferrous scrap has
also been weak, but Irepas maintained its positive outlook.
"The situation might change sooner than expected due to adverse
weather circumstances, particularly in northern Europe," it
Raw material price changes have
not been reflected in finished steel prices, Irepas added,
although recent significant price increases for flat-rolled
steel products "could provide support for price increases in
the long steel products market as well," it said.
Irepas also highlighted the
difficulties presented to the market by trade restrictions,
which it said had "shut down a few significant markets for
reinforcing bar exports," resulting in a need to "divert
significant quantities of exports to other destinations,
creating severe supply pressure on prices, and more
importantly, making profit margins practically
Overcapacity is also proving to
be an obstacle to the long products industry, Irepas said.
"The number of countries where
low demand prevails has increased, and suppliers in such
countries are searching for new markets," the association said.
"It looks like fierce competition will prevail in the long
steel market for quite a long period of time due to excessive
The outlook for February remains unsure, Irepas concluded,
with a "difficult" month ahead for mills "as the market remains
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel