In a recent analysis by Care Ratings, the credit rating agency looks at the global rally in steel prices in 2020/2021 and also projects that prices could continue to rise in 2022.

Updates on this topic can be found here:

Global steel price rally to continue in 2022?
Global steel price rally to continue in 2022?

Where is the steel price increase coming from?

Like us, Care Ratings attributes the rapid rise in steel prices to the fact that first China’s economy and then those of the United States and Europe rebounded while the Corona pandemic was still ongoing. And now EU and US steelmakers are failing to match supply with demand. In Europe, steelmakers have already reached lead times of January 2022.

USA: HRC prices up more than 160%

The biggest jumps in steel prices occurred in the USA, according to Care Ratings. There, HRC (FOB) prices increased by 160% year-on-year. In Western Europe by 96% (according to our calculations even by 133%) and in China by 79% – we are not able to say conclusively whether the 13% of the eliminated export tax rebates are already included here. But probably not.

Outlook for steel prices in 2022

The upturn in steel prices is expected to continue in 2022. The stimulus packages brought to the market by various countries will ensure that demand for steel remains high.

Reasons for a possible further increase in prices

The absence of China from the world export market and higher import of steel from China is one of the main factors that will keep steel prices high.

Continued higher demand from China due to the stimulus package and the country’s desire to cut production in 2021 to reduce CO2 emissions will be a major factor strengthening steel prices. Cost pressure from iron ore prices will continue.

Market protection measures additionally tighten steel supply

New anti-dumping measures and further anti-subsidy proceedings by the EU against India, for example, could further reduce availability. And drive prices up even further.

It is also still unclear what will happen with Safeguard in the European Union and the Section 232 tariffs in the United States in 2021.


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