NEW YORK Output cuts by
producers of long steel products in countries across the globe
could help bring balance to an industry struggling to meet
market challenges, according to a short-range forecast by the
International Rebar Exporters and Producers Association
Market circumstances "are
already very tough, and the outlook does not look very bright
in the short term, but production cuts are expected to help
achieve a restoration of the balance between supply and
demand," the group said in an outlook released April 9.
Demand in the global long steel
products market is still low due to a long and cold winter in
the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the European Union, the
"The situation in the E.U.
market has gotten worse, as there are too many offers in the
market and this has caused buyers to become even more reluctant
to purchase. Elsewhere, the market situation does not show any
improvement compared to one month ago," it said.
The outlook for raw materials
also appears dire, Irepas said. "There is an overhanging fear
in the market that iron ore prices will move down even further
and that the ferrous scrap market will have to undergo a
downward adjustment also, in addition to the fear that the
market situation in China will deteriorate," it said.
Looking at the positives, Irepas
said steel producers are taking "the necessary steps" to
overcome global oversupply, while consumption has increased in
the U.S. market. Weather conditions, particularly in Europe,
are improving and will hopefully help bring better demand back
to the market, it added.
Meanwhile, Irepas said increased
competition brought in part by "a sudden change of mood" in the
Chinese domestic market has triggered some "protectionist
measures, which are already in place or being studied in a few
markets (thereby) increasing pressure and subsequently
competition in other areas."