While many factors will potentially influence the US HRC market, Fastmarkets AMM has summarized five of the most important developments that market participants should watch this year.
1. Increased domestic capacity
Several sheet expansions have been undertaken or announced over the past year, which Fastmarkets AMM estimates could boost US flat-rolled capacity by up to 16.5 million tons per year through 2022. Overall, the domestic market consumes around 130 million tpy of steel, with about half of that volume going into flat-rolled products.
Outside of the US, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario-based flat-rolled steelmaker Algoma also plans to spend estimated Canadian $300 million ($225.7 million) to expand capacity at its steel works. Stelco, another Canadian flat-rolled steel producer, is reportedly undertaking similar considerations.
As a result, sources have expressed their concerns over a potential supply glut in the near future.
But to some the investment in flat-rolled supply ultimately reflects the kind...