After suffering for some seven years through to 2015, the world’s steelmakers have had cause for cheer over the past couple of years. Following some heavy losses and write-downs, they finally appear to have emerged from the wreckage of the global financial crisis. An economic upswing has taken root in most regions of the world, Chinese steel output and export growth has slowed noticeably, and steel prices have enjoyed an upward swing in consequence.
After having gone after imports of both hot-rolled coil (HRC) and cold-rolled coil (CRC) this year, will the European Commission soon be turning its attention to imports of galvanized steel? (primarily hot-dipped galvanized material (HDG))
In all likelihood yes but just how effective would any import restrictions be?
Let’s take a look at the case for implementing trade protection measures on these products and what effect they may have.
Just under ten years ago, during June 2006, Mittal Steel finally gained control of Arcelor, creating what in turn is still today the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal.
With prices of many commodities at multi-year lows, recent financial releases from some of Europe’s major steelmakers delivered a reminder that not everything is bad in the steel industry.
Why, when most stories surrounding the steel and commodity markets are overwhelmingly negative these days, might this be the case?
Looking at Chinese demand for steel…
China’s annual growth rate has slowed from double-digit figures to around 7%. The massive investments in infrastructure that the government unleashed as a stimulus response to the global financial crisis are subsiding. Property markets around the country are cooling fast, leaving developers with a nasty debt hangover.
The article goes on to detail the implications for prices, both of steel and its raw materials i.e. iron ore and is well worth a read for a good overview of the sector.