Meanwhile, the resumption of trade talks between the US and China was likely to boost market activity in Asia.
Participants in the European stainless steel market expected that prices of flat products would come under considerable pressure during the third quarter of 2019 because of low demand and an expected resurgence in import volumes.
July and August are typically quiet months but sources noted that this year’s summer slow season started earlier than usual. In light of this, there were concerns that it could also run for longer than usual and extend into September.
Demand has been undermined by a sluggish European economy and low consumer confidence amid the global trade war and the growing use of protectionist trade mechanisms, as well as the continuing uncertainties surrounding Brexit - the UK’s protracted departure from the EU.
“The market, everything is diminishing,” one distributor said. “We’re hitting rock bottom [in pricing], and over the summer...