August 17, 2021 – Does Eurofer’s report on the development of EU steel consumption, published on August 16, contain errors? In some parts, it seems that this may be the case. Nickel products for stainless steel in short supply. Chinese stainless steel producers need to substitute. EU and United States in growth, while China is in transformation. Commodities seek new direction.
Eurofer report with errors?
On August 16, 2021, Eurofer, the association of European steel producers, published its market outlook for the third quarter of 2021. Unfortunately, the report moves more to 2020, rather than 2021, and there, it seems, only primarily to the first quarter. In addition, the report still contains data from the UK, which has not been explicitly separated from that of the EU27, or at least made identifiable.
All data in the report correct?
At least one table appears to have been filled with incorrect headings or data – unfortunately this is not clearly identifiable – which makes it impossible to distinguish between real and apparent steel consumption in the EU. Other figures also appear to have been creatively rounded to possibly make them look worse than they actually are.
Report makes no reference to steel shortages in the EU
Nor does the report make any reference to the extreme supply difficulties experienced by European steelmakers and their overfilled order books. Actual steel consumption in the EU could very likely be much higher if there were fewer economically damaging import restrictions and artificial material shortages in the EU27.
Caution in using the data
Due to the lack of timeliness of the Eurofer report and possible errors in the data, caution should be exercised when using it to assess the current economic development of steel consumption in the EU.
Alternative Download: Economic-and-Steel-Market-Outlook-Quarter-3-2021-final.pdf
Nickel products for stainless steel in short supply, prices remain strong
Nickel prices have recently outperformed stainless steel prices. The market believes that Chinese stainless steel production cuts and higher costs will prevent stainless steel prices from falling, given the tight supply of nickel ore and NPI.
Due to a tight supply of nickel plate, stainless steel producers have to turn to nickel briquettes.
Base Metals seek direction
After rather disappointing figures from the Chinese economic area for the market and the possible prospect of a tighter monetary policy of the US Federal Resever in the coming months, Base Metals are currently looking for a new direction.
However, clear changes are currently not discernible, even if it sometimes goes down or up by one percent.
EU and U.S. in growth. China in transformation.
While Europe and the United States are in the massive growth phase after the Corona pandemic, China on the other hand is trying to cool down its own market in order to get a grip on raw material prices and manufacturing costs, as well as energy shortages and logistics difficulties. And at the same time still tackling a turnaround in carbon emissions.
In the medium term at least, this should lead to a strengthening of base metals and other commodities.
- Stainless Espresso: US infrastructure bill increases domestic steel shortfall by probably another 17 million tons
- Stainless Espresso: Growth market for car batteries
- Stainless Espresso: Chinese nickel production down 15%
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