What stainless steel cold rolling and Swedish shelves share
What stainless steel cold rolling and Swedish shelves share

8 November 2023 – What do cold rolling, anti-circumvention and Swedish shelves actually have in common? European natural gas prices continue to fall. And US imports have risen significantly and are already above 2019 levels. 

What stainless steel cold rolling and Swedish shelves share

What do stainless steel cold rolling and Swedish self-build shelves actually have in common? In view of the current anti-circumvention proceedings against stainless steel from Turkey, Taiwan and Vietnam, this is a perfectly legitimate question. We explore this question and the possible answer in today’s Stainless Cappuccino.

European natural gas prices in search of a new floor 

The futures contract for natural gas for delivery in one month on the Dutch futures exchange TTF ended trading on Monday this week at its lowest closing price for a month. On the one hand, prices are facing headwinds from the current warm temperatures in Western Europe. On the other hand, there is also the fact that natural gas storage facilities in Germany had a fill level of 100.3 per cent as of Sunday morning. Across the EU, gas storage facilities are 99.55 per cent full. The amount of gas now stored is roughly equivalent to the consumption of two to three average cold winter months.

Sustained low natural gas prices expected

The markets are also pricing in an adequate supply of natural gas for Western Europe for the future: Not only the contract for delivery in the following month, but also those maturing in February and November 2024 have fallen in price by ten to 15 per cent in recent days. Provided there are no unexpected supply shortfalls, prices are likely to remain below the six-month highs reached in October.

Thorsten Gerber, CEO of the Gerber Group, commented today: “The instrument of fear-mongering that our politicians like to use should therefore become implausible! We probably won’t freeze to death after all. Maybe the totally green-blinded salon communists in the federal cabinet will get the message.” 

“What we need is a spirit of optimism. Real impetus for small and medium-sized enterprises, which form the backbone of the German and European economy. And significantly less bureaucracy. The EU Commission in Brussels in particular needs to be kept on a tighter leash here,” continued Thorsten Gerber.

US imports still rising, highest since boom

According to media reports, imports to the United States have continued to rise and in October were 33% higher than the low in February 2023. October even saw the highest import volumes since August 2022, when volumes were still elevated due to the one-off pandemic boom. 

Overall, an upward trend in US imports can be observed. Accordingly, significantly better results have been achieved so far in 2023 compared to 2017 (+11.8%), 2018 (+4.4%) and 2019 (+3.4%). 

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