As of Wednesday April 1, a number of steel producers in the US - including U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal USA and AK Steel - have announced steel plant closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These actions will take approximately 5-7 million tons of steel sheet out of the market in 2020, analysts who spoke to Fastmarkets estimated.
At the same time, sheet demand could fall by at least 5 million tons in 2020, they said.
In his best-case scenario, Tyler Kenyon, a metals and mining analyst with Cowen & Co, told Fastmarkets that at least a 10% decline in finished steel demand is forthcoming in 2020. Kenyon defined a best-case scenario as Covid-19 cases in the US peaking by the end of May, with market participants then starting to go back to business as usual.
Auto and energy impact
Among the top steel-consuming industries, the automotive and energy sectors have been hit the hardest by...