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Stainless steel buyers report finding fewer and fewer suitable offers for their sales markets. The world takes a critical look at the European “Fit for 55” and the Carbon Border Tax CBAM. EU steelmakers are unhappy with their own lobbying. And iron ores are caught between rise and fall, looking for a new direction.

Stainless Espresso: Stainless steel buyers find less and less suitable offers
Stainless Espresso: Stainless steel buyers find less and less suitable offers

EU CBAM under the watchful eye of the world

The world is taking a critical look at the EU’s ambitious “Fit for 55” or Green Deal project and the phased introduction of a Carbon Border Tax (CBAM) by 2026. Some countries already see an economic threat in CBAM. Others strongly criticize that it would break trade agreements and WTO regulations. Other nations are frantically trying to match the EU’s pace and introduce their own carbon border taxes. And the world’s most populous country just keeps on creating facts.

CBAM not uncontroversial in the EU

The CBAM project is not without controversy in the European Union either. As we reported back in March 2021, the EU’s carbon border tax concept has not been thought through to its conclusion. Even if we are fully behind the careful treatment of our planet, a strategy must be thought through to the end, otherwise it is usually counterproductive.

EU steel producers dissatisfied with CBAM

While the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) was initially the favorite child of European steel producers – and the driving force behind its introduction – it has now fallen out of favor there. The steel industry, which is one of the biggest polluters, is now expected to contribute to the costs of the green transformation. The steel producer lobby does not like this.

To our great delight, the German Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl (WV Stahl), which is close to the big lobbyists, is now also taking a critical look at CBAM.

Iron ores under pressure

Iron ores are having a hard time at the moment. On the one hand, they have come under heavy pressure because China’s measures to reduce steel and iron production are squeezing demand for iron ores. On the other hand, ore producers have fallen short of expected production figures, which should tend to fuel prices. And Australia reports a shortage of train drivers for iron ore shipments due to the Covid19 situation.

So iron ore will probably continue to dance for a while and probably still linger at elevated levels.

Source: shfe.com.cn, dce.com.cn, lme.com

Stainless steel buyers increasingly encounter lack of offers

As market participants tell us, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable stainless steel offers for the respective sales markets. In many regions of the world the summer vacations have begun or are about to begin.

Threat of increase in Chinese export taxes on steel

In addition, the export interest of many Chinese companies has currently decreased significantly, as the domestic government still intends to adjust the export tax on steel and stainless steel products upwards.

“The difficulties currently faced by stainless steel buyers are also exacerbated by market protection measures. In the end, only expert knowledge can help,” says Thorsten Gerber, CEO of Gerber Group.

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