GLOBAL SLAB OUTLOOK: Sentiment turns bullish on thin supply, costlier raw materials

Major global steel slab markets are set to recover in February after a months-long downturn, with suppliers raising their offers amid higher prices of iron ore and ferrous scrap as well as limited slab availability, participants told Fastmarkets on Monday February 4.

CIS Market participants were positive in their forecasts of export prices from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), following the recent increases in global iron ore and scrap prices. Fastmarkets’ daily index for Northern Europe-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20) stood at $297.39 per tonne cfr Turkey on February 1, up from $279.16 per tonne cfr on January 2. Limited slab supply will also provide support to CIS prices. “CIS mills are already well booked for March-shipment cargoes, and prices have improved,” one trader said. “Also, Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) will be out of the market soon, and that has contributed to the bullish sentiment on prices,” he added. Russia’s largest steelmaker NLMK will put one of its blast furnaces on half-year maintenance in May, which will reduce its slab output and further tighten supply in the CIS export market. Recent Ukrainian offers for March-rolling slabs were $445 per tonne cfr Turkey, equivalent to $430 per tonne fob Black Sea. Turkish...


Fiona Lam

February 05, 2019

09:33 GMT